Friday, March 25, 2011

Emails #22: Cap: American Style


"Cap, your feet are icy cold."

"I have been suspended in a block of ice for fifty years."

"Maybe this will help break the ice..." Kisses Cap full on the mouth then again more passionately.

"Call me Steve."

Hahaha... good one.

Rick and I continue our sketching of a spec film outline using our previous concepts and ask more burning questions about how we'd write a Cap film! Read on, we have a question for YOU!* -Ben

Act II


Pinch 1
  • Cap is used as a celebrity, finds conflict with that. He has "handlers" ushering him everywhere. He rides in limos.
  • Starts to save people (against orders)
  • New President is almost too good to be true.

  • 9/11 or like event. Pres takes war powers
  • Red Skull returns. Says terrorists are poo compared to the master race. (maybe make him the right hand of the world ruling society.)
  • Cap starts to patrol DC and leaves Marvel for Bucky to oversee...
  • Cap is called back to military service.
  • Pres. suspends Habeas Corpus in the name of security. Government has imprisoned "domestic terrorists."

I'm thinking about when Cap is brought back to military service that the suit is replaced by the black one we've talked about. No shield. He's sent out as a one man Black Ops team. Sent on missions deep in Arab lands. Finally, he's sent to assassinate a terrorist friendly dictator. That order is his breaking point-- he can't obey it. He stuck trying to reconcile his feelings of doubt with his beliefs about his country. He relearns that his dedication is to ideals, not to corrupt men and knows what he has to do.

I know you don't really like the black suit and that's totally understandable. P
lease allow me to explain that my objective isn't to use a gimmick, but to point out why the black suit gimmick is wrong. It a part of my modern-day through-line concept where Cap is being sent on covert Black Ops missions. His commanders take the suit and shield away and they do exactly what we hate about other comic book movies-- they dress him in all black and try to make him a gritty assassin bad-ass. They try to force him to be Wolverine. He's following orders. They tell him it's got to be this way. Thousands of lives are at stake. Millions. His country is counting on him. This is completely contrary to Cap in every way, but he's torn. None of this feels right, but he's a soldier. He's still young and new to the modern world. He could always trust his commanders before. They know best.

"This is how wars are fought now, Cap. It's not pretty, but there's no other way."

Life becomes bland. A series of missions. He's always on the move. Just like everyone else in this modern world. That's my allegory. See, people think we can't have Cap (or any superhero) appear in bright colors. We need to put him in rubber or leather and dull the colors down. Or, better yet, dress them in all black. 'That's more realistic!' A person in a bright costume doesn't make sense to them. And that's because they've forgotten what a superhero really is. The same goes for the people in the film. No one can see the sense in being a hero. They can hardly see reason for sticking their neck out, let alone risking their life for someone else. It's an old and tired ideal that doesn't exist. We're too smart to believe any of that nonsense anymore. I believe Cap can prove them wrong. Events come to a head and Cap realizes that he's gone off his true path. His commanders have gone wrong. The country has gone wrong. The President must be stopped. He breaks into the facility where they've stored his gear and shield and goes underground. (And Red Skull turns the media and the American people against him.)

I feel the feeling but I am still not convinced it is the way to go. All the things that happen to Cap... We will have spent half the film tear-assing around in WWI building Cap up, building the Red Skull up, making their conflict one which will transcend the war and all time. Once thawed, the gauntlet must be picked up again in modern times. The government thawed him out for a reason, something heavy and expeditious. OR did the Red Skull himself pull the strings to get Cap thawed? He wants to disgrace and defeat his old foe utterly. Cap's personal journey must take him into the jaws of death and despair. His family is gone. His sweet heart(s) are gone. Bucky is gone. He is forgotten and abandoned. Maybe now it is time to live the life of Steve Rogers. He walks away from the government that lies and manipulates.

General: "Where is he?!"

MP: "Steve Rogers paid cash for a motorcycle in Iowa and seems to have disappeared, sir."

General: "Disappeared?"

MP: "It's a free country sir and he wanted to see it up close. Said it was important to live the American Dream, sir."

The black suit, worn only once, is piled on the table. The red white and blue Cap uniform rests in a glass case a few feet from the glass case of the shield. The sound of shatter proof glass breaking and alarms ringing breaks the night. Cap once again dons the colors of the flag and punches his hands into gloves that were made just for him. America is counting on him. He won't let it down...

*Dear Reader! What do YOU think? "Black suit" arc or no black suit? We want to know--what say you? Please comment below!

Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials.
-Gerald W. Johnson

Nothing is given to man on earth - struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible - the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.
-Andrew Bernstein

1 comment:

  1. Who is Captain America? Part of how he is defined is by the foes he tangles with. In WWII it is the Red Skull - the embodiment of evil. Will he be fighting the government now? The MAN? Faceless bureaucrats? Could he ever really accept a role which had him going on covert missions?

    In the end analysis, that scenario could make for a great dramatic story. Would it make for a great screenplay? If you go black suit, all he will want to do is get out of it. How would this conflict be established?