Friday, April 29, 2011

Emails #37: 1918 Epidemic and the Super Soldier Serum

BEN: Hmm! Very interesting points about Cap's early life. I guess Cap would have had to have be born later than I thought to be 18 in the war. Sucks that doesn't match up with your Spanish flu-relation to Cap's creation. But, if the US entered the war in 1942 and Cap's 18, he would have been born in 1923 smack dab in the Roaring. My idea was that Cap would enter the war before the US was officially in, but this made me think again...

The US entered the war in '42 after Pearl Harbor Dec 7, 1941, but isolationist policy had done a number on American fighting readiness. Summary history Our military leaders were scrambling as we were getting crushed in the Pacific. By January, we only had ONE battle-ready division of an estimated 215 needed. (We ended up with 90 divisions through a huge and total restructuring of our entire military.) This calls for drastic measures! We were very limited in how much we could ship to the theater which also called for an overhaul of training and what equipment we sent out. This effort was lead by Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, head of Army Ground Forces, who was all about agile mobile forces. If we can only send so many, might as well make them super soldiers!

RICK: Matches up exactly with flu as creation. Sorta. The particulars of Cap's timeline do have to be nailed down so that events make sense.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Emails #36: Patriotism - Not Catch Phrases

BEN: An anecdote about General Benedict Arnold and the American Revolution. General Gates became the commander of the Northern theater replacing Schuyler, whom Arnold was under. (Schuyler lost Fort Ti and Gates had more political power so, Gates nabbed his command.) The Battle of Saratoga was actually two battles. The first one was kind of a draw and the Continental Army pulled back when night fell. If I recall correctly, instead of attacking, Gates allowed the Brit forces and mercenaries to build a stronghold, a giant wall of logs called a redoubt. Arnold disagreed with this because he knew the Brits had been fighting siege warfare for hundreds of years. Gates was confident that he could just wait in their similar stronghold. Arnold demanded they not wait. Gates said to let the enemy have at it, they have no chance against their fortifications. Again, Brits have been doing this for hundreds of years. Arnold knew if they didn't attack, they were screwed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Emails #35: I've Had My Fill of War

Thoughts on Bucky and D-Day

BEN: New ideas just to jot down so I don't forget...

Cap might sometimes change into fatigues to blend in, perhaps visit the troops incognito. I had this scene in my head where Bucky finds out his identity. Of course, they could have trained together or something instead but, it was a thought...

Also, I think we talked about Cap rallying the troops before D-Day. What if command pulled him out before the assault? He'd be pretty torn up.

Or, what if they didn't even tell him about D-Day and is really mad when he finds out? Of course, he'd feel like he could have saved lives.

RICK: HE WILL BE FIRST. He will be in that first boat. The importance of D-Day to Cap is that there is tremendous loss of life. It wasn't his planning but he was there. "I was looking at old newsreel footage of D-Day and I could swear that Captain America was there in the background..."

Hmm, perhaps Cap's speech
fails to rally troops, but he leads by example running to the beach and the men follow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Emails #34: Battles Not Forgotten

RICK: Just riffing. Sam Raimi's version of Spider-man 4 cancelled over SCRIPT issues. Going with a young, high school Parker/Spider-man movie instead. Maybe we should do the same. Reboot Cap in high school and give him problems and stuff and update it so it takes place in modern times and stuff like Twilight or Harry Potter has kids in it. What do you think?

What do you think of CAP: DECLARATION OF RECESS?

BEN: Ha! I kinda love it. We should write a short blog about the concept as total satire. I hear what you're saying. Raimi quit because they wanted him to go into production with a crap script-- one they all knew wasn't ready. Why? Sony needs to put out a Spidey movie or they lose their biggest cash cow license. Without Spider-Dollars they move from #1 studio to #3 (last I knew anyhow.) For Sam, he capitulated when the studio kept asking for Venom in Spidey 3. He wanted it to be all Sandman and start developing the new Gobby (working up to Spidey 5.) You know, perhaps actually have time to get inside the characters. They demanded and he decided to try and pull it off. He made a stinker with too many villains. Batman before he re-began. The Dark Knight needed 4 acts and 3 hours to have two villains. So, Sam said 'No way. I'm not capitulating again.' Poor guy. I'll bet the only reason he wanted to make 4 is to make up for 3. End on a positive note. Oh well, his career is far from being harmed by this I'd wager.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Emails #33: Bucky: Kid Sidekick

A screenplay by Rick Arthur & Ben Alpi
rough version 01: begun 1/14/10

RICK: This is a wiggler. I start in the middle then jump as needed to fill in the details until I am back in the present day before finishing with a straight narrative.

What are some of the more dynamic scenarios we have discussed? Rough listing to follow...

  • Red Skull with hands around Cap's throat spouting superman theory.
  • Cap passing out in the snow and dreaming about finding a concentration camp.
  • Cap jumping from a plane, totally out of it from drugs.
  • Red Skull and Cap fighting on the wing of a biplane.
  • Cap reading letters from regular folks from WWII.
  • Cap in a graveyard.
  • Cap at Viet Nam War memorial.
  • Red Skull shoots a mobster at a dinner party.
  • Cap's intro/first mission in WWII
  • Bucky's Death?*
  • Cap goes home. (The general gives him the keys to his childhood home, preserved as was. He visits to discover what happened to his parents.)

The Bucky Question

If we use Bucky, the Red Skull should kill him after the war is over.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Emails #32: Declaration of War

RICK: One observation and then let's get started.

I saw the 1991 Captain America on the Hulu. My brother sent me a link. It was bad and felt dated and not very theatrical for a theatrical release. I did like the Red Skull, his attitude and mannerisms. The Red Skull's daughter was also great. Hot. European looking. The origin was explored as well as the ice suspended animation. Costume was good except for the mask. Shield was pretty good. I think there was a Wonder Woman TV show influence. Story is a shambles. If you haven't already, I would take a look. Hulu. Captain America. 1991.

Let's get started.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Emails #31: The Arms Race of Its Time


Red Skull Origin

BEN: If we had time (which we probably won't, but we might include it in a comic book tie-in) I was thinking that Skull would start out as a young man who is brought on as Hitler's assistant or is a promising young Lt. who is brought to Hitler's attention by the head of the SS. The Lt. has shown to be very intelligent, resourceful and (of course) without a conscience. Hitler puts him in the super soldier program and he survives (or is the only survivor of his super soldier unit.) Hitler then gives him the rank of Sturmbannf├╝hrer and puts him in command of an SS unit, "The Red Skulls," with the mission to kill Captain America. Skull takes it too far and ends up having a red skull face shield created for himself. Okay, this is probably too dark, but what if... a bunch of his team are killed and he's covered in a pile of bodies. Standing up from beneath the viscera, he licks his fingers and feels a jolt. Putting his hand in the chest wound of one of his comrades, he sucks the blood off his hand. Power pumps through his veins and he chuckles as he drops to his knees for more... If his whole unit isn't killed, he might kill them to increase his power (a Countess Bathory sort of thing.) In this his serum is weaker than America's, but with his physiology and the discovery of the blood connection, he's as, if not more, powerful than Cap.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Emails #30: Virtue and Sacrifice

01-07-10 RA

It is okay for Cap to be afraid. It is human. A natural reaction to his horrific surroundings. Better yet, since he shows fear, real fear and then overcomes it, his courage and heroism are both more natural and human. Two things that allow him to persevere are his faith in God and his faith in American democracy. He is not the wisecracking hero full of quips as he guns people down. It is his strength of character that wins the day rather than his strength of arms. His heroic qualities were evident even as a young Steve Rogers. The Super Soldier Serum did not make him heroic. It certainly didn't make Red Skull heroic. And don't think about softening the religious angle. It is essential to Cap's character. Maybe he had a family member who was a pastor or deacon, someone who was very much against the war and Steve joining it. There must be opposition to everything the hero wants to do if only so that he can choose to overcome it. It is in his choosing that some sense of what could have been creates the sacrifice, the trade off, the loss that is his heroic backdrop.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Emails #29: American Son

RICK: Steve's father places a hand on his shoulder. "You didn't think this was how it was going to be. All your hopes and dreams and here you are with everything twisted out of shape. How did it get to be like this? You are weak. Just like they said. You can't wait around for some hero to swash buckle in and save you. You have to stand up and do it now. Stand up and stare those bullies in the eye and let them know that you are not afraid. If need be, you've got to fight Steven even if no one else stands with you. You have to fight until you win. Evil does not take a holiday and can not be bartered with."

BEN: For some reason this makes me wonder...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Emails #28: Teaser Trailer "The Cold"

The cold. Just need to rest here for a minute.

Harsh arctic winds pile snow up over Cap's body. Even with the Super Soldier Serum in his veins, he can not last much longer. Temperatures have dipped to minus sixty. Finally, he passes out and everything goes black. All we hear is the bitter howl of the wind...

The howl becomes the wail of a train whistle, piercing. A light appears as if at the end of the tunnel. Cap squints to get a better look. The countryside is grey and quiet. Snow is falling in big fist-sized feathers. Some kind of gated camp is coming into view as the train engine slows. Cap sees them standing there behind the fences like ragged scarecrows, unmoving and silent. Cap jumps from the side of the train to get a better look. He crushes the chain on the gate in the grip of his bare hands and walks through. He is unopposed. Rounding a corner, Cap sees what he thinks is a young boy tugging on the boot of the fallen German soldier. The child is dressed in grey rags. The soldier is young, maybe sixteen and has a self inflicted bullet wound to the head. Cap reaches for the boy who pulls away from him and turns, holding the prize of the boot in his hands. The child is dressed in grey rags. The soldier is young, maybe sixteen and has a self inflicted bullet wound to the head. Cap reaches for the boy who pulls away from him and turns holding the prize of the boot in his hands. The boy is a malnourished, grey skinned mess with wild eyes, practically a living skeleton. Cap draws back shocked and frightened. He looks around him. The scarecrows are moving ever so slowly, perhaps drawn to his brightly colored uniform. A snowflake falls on Cap's face and as he blows it away he realizes that it is nothing but ash. The train whistle blows...

Cap's eyes pop open in horror. He shakes off the snow and prays: "Lord I will fear no evil for you are with me. Should I perish this day, I accept your judgement and ask your forgiveness of my sins... Save me Lord... [pauses] us all." He struggles to his feet taking tremendous effort. He must press on. Red Skull must be made to pay for his crimes. The wind howls and tears at his body and from somewhere, Cap finds the strength to continue...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Emails #27: He Died a Hero Today

"A lot has been lost, Captain.  There was a fire in one of our store houses in 1956.  We have taken donations from several private collections.  We happen to have three good examples on display here."

National Archives, Washington, DC
War Department
Declassified Documents
"America at War"
Correspondence from the Front Lines to the Heartland

Momma & Poppa-

I won't lie to you about how serious things are here.  People are dying left and right.  I am scared all the time that I might let my buddies down.  Sometimes I stop and pray that I can come home.  We met a real hero last night that has given us our first taste of hope in many months.  He spoke to us about liberty and the right of all people to be free of tyranny...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Emails #26: Icy Scenario

Rick and I conclude our sketching of a spec outline for a Cap film! -Ben

Act 3

  • Cap tosses the puppet President in jail
  • VP is instated or new election is announced
  • Cap reconciles with the General
  • Cap addresses the American people
  • The End!

12-17-09 R.A.
Film Overview
  • CAP in WWII, the ORIGIN
  • CAP in modern era
  • CAP triumphant after being defeated

RICK: Cap's origin needs to be told. This squarely sets the film with a chunk of WWII backing. How it is eventually woven into the overall plot is still up in the air.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Emails #25: Tempering the Steel

RICK: I had this shot in my head where Cap and Red Skull are fighting on the wing on a German biplane...

Okay, this has no budget. So live a little.

BEN: Wow, now that's going back to early cinema! I think the unfortunate thing with the first Spider-Man film was that Spidey and Gobby didn't actually have many scenes together. Gobs asks Spidey to join forces? Why? Is he Darth Vader? They (sorta) try to convey that time has passed and they've had time to build a rapport, but it's pretty flimsy. Not to mention, when Spidey finally does a little trash talk, it's the climax and isn't supported in the rest of the film. Anyhow, with that in mind I'd want to have enough motivation for Skull to really hate Cap-- I mean, it has to be personal. That would likely mean that Cap has to humiliate him. Real good. Creating a real conflict between two foes is really tough in a origin film since they probably won't have too many scenes together-- you have to spend time on the hero especially since Skull didn't have anything to do with Cap's creation. Skull is Cap's right of passage. Cap defeats him in WWII, but just. And Skull makes him pay by killing Bucky. Essentially, Cap thinks that he's an adult now, but nope. He's not a man until he defeats the guilt. And Skull.

I am starting to wonder if maybe we aren't trying too hard. There was a very simple movie called Time After Time. HG Wells creates a time machine and chases Jack the Ripper through to the present day. Catch me if you can!

Isn't it humiliating enough that Red Skull is on the losing side of the War?