'Captain America: The First Avenger' Takes Cues from Indiana Jones

March 28, 2011
Source: Hero Complex

Captain America: The First Avenger

Last week we finally got an extended look at Captain America: The First Avenger by way of the fantastic full length trailer for Joe Johnston's summer comic book adaptation. Of course, we're still a few months away from seeing Cap wield his shield on the big screen, and there's plenty of fuel left in the hype machine. Cue Hero Complex and their recent chat with the filmmaker about the story. It's not hard to see shades of Johnston's adventure flick The Rocketeer in Captain America, but the director took even more cues from a more familiar adventurer. Johnston reveals more about the story's influences and inspiration.

The driving force behind Captain America is none other than everyone's favorite archaeologist Indiana Jones, and his adventures in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Johnston talks about how the iconic adventurer inspired the film up to a certain point before they found their own path:

“We used ‘Raiders’ as a template when we were developing the story, but we sort of moved away from it as time went on. This is futurism in the 1940s; if you went to 1942 and thought of what the future would be, that’s what the approach was. The villain has a much more futuristic style and his science and his apparatus — he has a whole design motif that is beyond 1942 but it’s what you might have perceived as futuristic from a 1942 vantage point. So we went away from the ‘Raiders’ template in that sense but where we sort of stuck with it was in the structure and the action and the way the main characters are thrown into these situations and then have to get themselves out of them.”

So even though the film was certainly inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, it's become its own unique story as well. Johnston elaborates:

"When you sit down to watch it, it’s certainly not ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ which is a very different kind of film in the final analysis. But sometimes when we had questions and we were stuck we would say, ‘What would Indiana Jones do? What would be the answer to this in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?’  I’ve always loved ‘Raiders’ and the great achievement of it was the tone and the fresh feeling of the movie. It was period but didn’t feel like it was made in the period. It felt like a contemporary film about this period in the past, and that is the goal we have with ‘Captain America.’ And I can say this — it definitely has an Indiana Jones pace.”

Everything Johnston says sounds right on the money and gets me all sorts of excited to finally see Captain America: The First Avenger when it hits theaters on July 22nd this summer. The interesting thing about these individual films that clearly have a style all their own will be to see how the heroes all come together for The Avengers. It won't be an easy task, and I think we all know that Joss Whedon has his work cut out for him. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Feat, Hype, Movie News, Opinions



Great! Indiana Jones as a template is something I'd like to see... I guess I will start a twitter treding topic: WWIJD?(What Would Indiana Jones Do?).

Leinergroove on Mar 28, 2011


I can't wait for this to come out!

DwainIBe on Mar 28, 2011


Well Joe Johnston the director here was visual effects supervisor on Raiders of the Lost Ark!

John on Mar 28, 2011


Johnston nailed the "Raiders" tone with his work on The Rocketeer, and I hope he brings some of the fun light-hearted adventure and incredibly fun action set pieces to Captain America.

Anonymous on Mar 28, 2011


Mikevangorkom that's what I'm hoping for too, especially after I saw the trailer, I was excited that maybe his experience from Raider's influenced this film like Raider's influenced the Rocketeer!

John on Mar 28, 2011


I like the sound of it, I really enjoyed the Rocketeer and Indiana Jones obviously.

Crapola on Mar 28, 2011


okie dokie dr. jones!

Da305kratos on Mar 29, 2011


just.. no.. ufos please.

Anonymous on Mar 29, 2011


While it's interesting that they are using Indy as a template for Captain America, there is something unsettling about the fact that the best they could come up with is someone else's idea to help make this a success.

Hattori Hanzo on Mar 29, 2011


This is awesome! The trailer was great and it’s cool to hear from the film-makers how they approached the movie. Anything that uses Raiders Of The Lost Ark as a template can’t be all bad, so I’m in. I was still on the fence as to whether I wanted to see this in the theater as I’ve never been a huge Captain America fan, but now I’m intrigued enough to throw down the coin for it. I found this site using my Logitech Revue with Google TV. As a DISH customer/employee I can use the Logitech to watch live tv and at the same time check email, update social media, and search online, which is how I posted on this site. Can’t wait for this movie now!

Elias on Mar 29, 2011


This film is going to be a piece of shit. The Red Skull is by nature one of the most horrifically evil creatures in comic book history. Captain America, by contrast, represents the nobles, loftiest ideals of mankind. It is inappropriate to deal with such themes with "fun light-hearted adventure and incredibly fun action set pieces". WTF? What's next? Hey, I know, somebody should develop a new situation comedy for television, set in Auschwitz.

ThePaganTemple on Mar 29, 2011


Does anyone know if this movie comes back around to modern times? Does he get frozen or is he immortal or the infinity serum keeps the guy young? Im trying to piece together how he falls into the current times to play tiddly winks with his buddies Nick and Tony in the flying SHEILD Base....

Voice of Reason on Mar 29, 2011


Well in the ultimates comic he was supposed to have been kept young due to the serum. not too sure if thats accepted cannon though. I'd imagine variations have been made in different story arcs

Richie G on Mar 29, 2011


cannot wait!

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018


cannot wait!

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018

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