Friday, May 6, 2011

Emails #40: Evans Gravitas?

Reactions: Chris Evans Cast as Captain America

RICK: For all intents and purposes, Evans is an unknown. After looking at a few pics I can see why he could be okay. Young looking and cartoonish. Muscled but still limber looking. Experienced with action movies and Marvel. I am seeing too much humor and not enough gravitas however. Maybe this is just the shadow of his FF character talking. Rogers is a broken, sick, unhealthy kid who has suddenly been given the body of a Super Soldier and then is sent to fight in a war where the atrocities are stacked up high enough to blot out the sun. I suppose that in a Marvel universe movie where the only real concern is rushing Cap along so he can lead the Avengers, scripts might not include the rape, torture, mutilation, fear, pain, suffering and EVIL that actually existed in WWII. Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings trilogy and V for Vendetta) has been cast as the Red Skull. This is inspired. Hugo CAN do dark and evil. He has tremendous presence and carries something profoundly tortured and human in his portrayals.

Maybe Evans can learn some acting tips from Weaving who I am sure has had to claw for his roles and convince people that he can get the job done. No depending on the baby faced good looks and swagger of a wanna be star for him. Can you imagine Evans in the same universe as Iron Man (Downey Jr.)? Or a CGI Hulk? After one or two movies, Evans will be too old to play Cap anyway. I know they have a nine picture deal but that is standard with the super hero franchises. He will get replaced easily if he can't cut it. Unfortunately, these things are driven by the inexhaustible engine of release dates, already announced, bought and paid for before the first draft is written. It makes you wonder how anything successful can ever be produced and the answer is flatly that all the elements are gelling at once and only talented crews, directors, actors and screen writers can pull it off. It is a miracle.

BEN: I agree on all points. Evans would not be my pick. I liked him as Johnny, but that's because he was cocky, a funny punk. Cap is the leader of men. Evans is Bucky. Jeffrey Donovan night be too old, but at least he looks like he could come from that era. You're not going to find an equal to Downey so, why not go for an unknown? Agreed on the announcements and other craziness that happens before these things are thought through. It's definitely putting the cart before the horse. Inspiration should be the driving force instead of money, but I know I'm just the minority saying that. Marvel Films has more flexibility though having incredibly well known licenses and brands, they don't have any excuse. Blah corporate profit margins and projections.

Maybe Chris Evans agreed to wear the mouse ears...

Margaret Suckley/FDR Presidential Library & Museum
Look at the picture of Roosevelt and the little girl. Both have polio. She is wearing a brace on her right leg. He is trying to comfort her. Out in the world somewhere a war is raging, a contest between good and evil which is engulfing the globe. Can Chris Evans go toe to toe with the president? Or with the little girl for that matter? Cap will be facing extraordinary evil in the guise of Hitler and the Red Skull.

I'm learning more and more about people and their base motivations. Until people who can perceive idealism and can deeply feel what it means to envision a hero, I think super hero films will only be so good. Jon Favreau might get it, Sam Raimi might get it, but I'm not sure. And certainly not most of the people in Hollywood. They can see money, success, power. That's probably why they could see making Iron Man. Can marketers see justice, evil or heroism? I don't know. Like the colonial legends from South America where it's said the natives couldn't see the Spanish ships because they were so foreign to them, I don't know if they can see WWII or Cap. They can see Evans. They've seen him before, he's pumped, he's got dark brown hair and scruff. They fit their safety profile. Blond, tall and broad with the eyes of an American eagle? They can't see that. All they know is WWII movies used to be money makers and Quentin Tarrentino just made one. Iron Man, DD and X-men/Wolverine all got made because of their similarities to Batman. Superman Returns was proof-positive in their eyes that that kind of hero doesn't make money anymore. I say the only thing holding that film back was their decision to make it a sequel to the Donnor films. Silliness. Should have made it a revisit to the original comic, not enslave it to a storyline from almost 30 years previous. I may hold out hope for the Green Lantern movie, but I think Thor and Cap are going to suck and we'll never see The Avengers.

A Cap film could destroy The Hurt Locker in its scope and depth.

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