Movie Chronicles » The First Avenger: Captain America


Captain America filming in Manchester and Liverpool, UK August 5th, 2010

The BBC are report­ing that Cap­tain Amer­ica film­ing will take place on the streets of Man­ches­ter and Liv­er­pool to recre­ate a 1940’s pre-war New York. Pre­cisely, Manchester’s North­ern Quar­ter and Liverpool’s Stan­ley Dock.

America’s First Avenger will bat­tle his foes on the streets of Man­ches­ter and Liv­er­pool dur­ing film­ing on the big-budget super­hero film.

Manchester’s North­ern Quar­ter is to be trans­formed into 1940s New York for a dra­matic car chase in Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger.

Pro­duc­ers chose the North­ern Quar­ter to recre­ate New York because of its tow­er­ing build­ings and pre-war architecture.

The loca­tion was organ­ised through the Vision+Media film office, based at Mediac­ity in Sal­ford Quays, which brought the big bud­get pro­duc­tion of Sher­lock Holmes to Man­ches­ter and Liverpool.

Susan Williams, drama liai­son man­ager, said the com­pany was approached by the stu­dio, which is also behind the suc­cess­ful Spi­der Man and Hulk films, in February.

“We sug­gested the area to Mar­vel as its wide streets, tow­er­ing build­ings and pre-war archi­tec­ture will make the per­fect 1940s New York.”

Res­i­dents, local busi­nesses and Man­ches­ter City Coun­cil have all been con­sulted about the pro­duc­tion, which will last about two weeks from mid September.

Details of scenes due to be filmed at Liverpool’s Stan­ley Dock are yet to be finalised.

Captain America’s shield and costume to evolve through film July 27th, 2010

In an inter­view with MTV, Chris Evans spoke a bit about his suit and shield, we don’t see his final Cap­tain Amer­ica suit until the end of the movie, and sim­i­larly, the shield keeps get­ting updated:

“But [the suit]‘s not bad. It’s a World War II movie, so I think a lit­tle bit of a cum­ber­some feel to it and some­thing that’s a bit chunkier … not only serves the time period, I think it looks bet­ter. […] It’s not this sleek span­dex suit. It looks like some­thing you might wear in the ‘40s in the mid­dle of a war.”

“There’s a cou­ple stages and ini­tially in the script, Steve isn’t Cap­tain Amer­ica right away. […] He gets the injec­tion and isn’t asked to go to war right off the bat. He’s used in dif­fer­ent areas, so he has dif­fer­ent stages of the suit. I don’t think he actu­ally jumps into the final suit until the third act of the film.”

[talk­ing about the shield]

“Well, dur­ing the USO tour, there’s obvi­ously a dif­fer­ent shield. […] And he goes on a cou­ple mis­sions, he goes AWOL and kind of takes the USO shield. And he’s kind of allowed to be this sol­dier and they out­fit him with the new uni­form. They decide to out­fit him with an updated shield.“

First Captain America footage shown at SDCC July 25th, 2010

Open­ing teaser

Descrip­tion of footage from Quint at AICN:

Kevin Feige started the panel which began with a teaser for Cap­tain Amer­ica, a film that has only been shoot­ing for 5 days.
The teaser was WW2 footage… typ­i­cal stuff: planes bomb­ing, anti-aircraft guns fir­ing, sol­diers march­ing, super­im­posed over what is obvi­ously a very slow reveal of the red, white and blue shield. Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech plays over this footage as text appeared on the screen:
Our courage and strength led us into bat­tle, sto­ries emerged of heroes … but one story has never been told.
Bam, the full cir­cu­lar shield. Is shown, then fades to black as text appears: Every army starts with one man.
Cap­tain America’s sil­hou­ette, shield on the arm, stand­ing in near pro­file. To black.
“Next sum­mer meet the world’s first avenger.”
Chris Evans turn­ing around in cos­tume, very much like the designs we’ve seen over the last month or so. No wings on head, but very much a prac­ti­cal army suit.
The title hit and then the zinger (you know the zinger… every trailer has one… you think it’s over and then BAM some­thing else) was of Evans launch­ing the shield right at camera.

Descrip­tion of footage from /Film:

The teaser begins show­ing clips from World War II super­im­posed over close-ups of the Captain’s shield, while audio plays of FDR’s “Day That Will Live in Infamy” speech. On screen text reads: “Sto­ries emerged…. But one story has never been told…. Every army starts with one man.” Cut to a shot of a sil­hou­ette of Cap­tain Amer­ica. On screen text reads: “Next Sum­mer you will meet the First Avenger” We then see a short shot of Chris Evans in cos­tume as Cap­tain Amer­ica shown from behind/side. Cap­tain Amer­ica logo. Cut to another shot of Evans in cos­tume, this time from the front view. We don’t get to see much as he tosses his shield at the camera.

Hugo Weav­ing footage

Quint again:

Nor­way, May 1942. Two men stand in a stone cas­tle as one of the walls is busted inward, crush­ing one of the men. The room fills with Nazis as they restrain the older gen­tle­man (who looked just like Finch from Pot­ter, but I’m not 100% pos­i­tive it was actu­ally David Bradley).They go to an elab­o­rate cof­fin, with an intri­cate stone design on top. “Open it! Quickly! Before he gets here.”

Of course “he” is The Red Skull. Hugo, look­ing sharp in an SS uni­form, is sil­hou­et­ted in the hole the Nazis busted into the keep. After a beat, he comes down, obvi­ously feared by his crew. His face is just nor­mal Hugo Weav­ing as he approaches the ter­ri­fied older guy that may or may not be Finch from Potter.

“It took me a long time to find this place,” Weav­ing said with an elo­quent menace.

“What you seek is just a leg­end!” says the Old Man.

:Then why make such an effort to con­ceal it?”

Weav­ing eas­ily pushes the heavy stone slab off the cof­fin, reveal­ing a skele­ton clutch­ing a cube, which Weav­ing called the Jewel of Odin’s trea­sure room. The Cos­mic Cube? I don’t remem­ber if it’s tied to Thor in the books, but I like them already tying these fran­chises together.

Weav­ing holds the cube, look­ing at it and sud­denly smashes it. It’s a fake, a decoy and Skull saw through it. “It is not some­thing one buries, but I think it is close, yes?”

He walks to an elab­o­rate door with a carv­ing on it of a large tree. Tree of the world, gar­den of wis­dom… and fate… Weav­ing says as he admires it. He reaches out and touches a snake eye in han­dle, which opens a con­tainer filled­with a glow­ing blue light. Weav­ing looks long­ingly inside and then back up at the old man. “You have never seen this, have you?” The old, defi­ant man answers: “It is not for the eyes of ordi­nary men… “ With a wicked smile Weav­ing says: “Exactly!”

End of scene.

/Film’s ver­sion of events:

They then pre­miered footage they claim was filmed just last week. The footage was very rough, com­plete with time­code. The footage begins with the title card “Nor­way, May 1942″ we see told older men in a stone castle-like inte­rior. The walls are shak­ing, dust and dirt falling. The wall implodes inward as a Nazi sol­diers come rush­ing in, and exam­ine a crypt in the cen­ter of the room. And then Johann Shmidt (Hugo Weav­ing pre Red Skull) makes his entrance from the huge hole in the wall. He orders the sur­viv­ing old man to hand over “The Tesser­act.” The man tells Shmidt that what he is look­ing for is just a leg­end. Shmidt responds, “then why go through so much work to con­ceal it?” The crypt is opened, and inside is the bones of a cru­sader hold­ing a misty crys­tal white cube. Shmidt picks it up, and says “The Tesser­act was the prize of Odin’s col­lec­tion.” But he isn’t fooled. He throws it down on the ground, smash­ing it to bits. This is not what he was look­ing for.

He then turns his atten­tion to the wall, which con­tains a large wood cav­ing of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life. In the wall he finds a hid­den com­part­ment. Hell pulls it out and opens it. Blue glow fills his face. Shmidt says to the man “You haven’t seen this yet, have you?” The man responds, “It’s not for the eyes of ordi­nary men.”

Official Thor and Captain America movie sites launch July 25th, 2010

http://​thor​.mar​vel​.com/ and http://​cap​tainamer​ica​.mar​vel​.com/ are now live, no con­tent yet though.

Further Thor, Captain America and Iron Man 2 details June 8th, 2009

Con­tin­u­ing on from the recent Kevin Feige rev­e­la­tions, First Show­ing have pro­vided a sec­ond com­men­tary of the event, which offers up some more details of these three movies.

Iron Man 2

In the first movie the film mak­ers man­aged to get the tone just right, for the sequel they are look­ing to add char­ac­ters and up the action whilst main­tain­ing this tone — keep­ing the right sense of humour. Film­ing is half way through and the major­ity of the spo­ken parts are com­plete, the next six weeks shall be ded­i­cated to action scenes!


There will be no Shake­spearean dia­logue in the Thor movie, despite its usage in the comics. Some scenes will take place in Asgard.

Cap­tain America

The first avenger movie shall be a period piece, set pre­dom­i­nantly dur­ing WWII. It is hoped that the movie can cap­ture a feel­ing sim­i­lar to Raiders of the Lost Ark, with the same lev­els of fun. Side­kick Bucky (wiki) will also make an appear­ance, in some capacity.

As for direc­tor Joe Johnston,

A lit­tle bit of The Rock­e­teer, lots of Octo­ber Sky, and a lit­tle bit of the ship designs that John­ston did for Star Wars, allud­ing to how this is the per­fect movie for him to direct. “It’s the movie his entire career has been lead­ing towards.”

Captain America movie shall begin pre-production in October June 6th, 2009

Mar­vel Stu­dios pro­ducer Kevin Feige has revealed a few details about the upcom­ing Cap­tain Amer­ica movie adap­ta­tion via a recent Iron Man 2 set visit.

Pre-production shall offi­cially begin this Octo­ber, with full pro­duc­tion set to start on June 28th 2010. It is likely to con­tain a num­ber of inter­na­tional loca­tions, rather than say, just New York or LA as the focus. With it, there will be a num­ber of inter­na­tional actors. The sto­ry­line in the movie isn’t likely to fol­low the ‘Truth’ arc set out in the comics, but more likely in some far off sequel.

The topic of Will Smith was raised, Feige acknowl­edged his inter­na­tional sta­tus but didn’t directly com­ment on casting.

Captain America cross-overs in recent Marvel movies March 29th, 2009

As part of Marvel’s efforts for a com­bined super-hero Avengers movie, there have been sub­tle ref­er­ences to Cap­tain Amer­ica in the two most recent releases, Iron Man and The Incred­i­ble Hulk:

Iron Man

When Pep­per Potts walks in on Tony Stark being undressed by JARVIS’ robot arms, at around the 1h30 mark, in the back­ground you can see a half com­plete shield that matches Cap­tain America’s red, white and blue design. Accord­ing to the exclu­sive Wal­mart comic book that came with the Iron Man DVD, Howard Stark (now rumored to appear in Iron Man 2) cre­ated the shield’s tech­nol­ogy and Tony is using an old dis­carded pro­to­type to cre­ate an alloy for his suit’s armor. This implies that, rather than cre­at­ing the shield, Tony Stark is tak­ing it apart, as pre­vi­ously rumored when the shield was first spotted.

The Incred­i­ble Hulk

On the 3-disc spe­cial edi­tion DVD there is a cut scene set in the snowy north where Bruce Ban­ner goes to com­mit sui­cide, before turn­ing into The Hulk and start­ing an avalanche. As the snow crum­bles you can just about make out the out­line of a human body and shield, meant to be Steve Rogers frozen in sus­pended ani­ma­tion, first spot­ted by Film School Rejects.

Other hat tips to Cap­tain Amer­ica include men­tion of the WWII ‘super­sol­dier serum’ cre­ated by Dr. Rein­stein, as injected into Emil Blon­sky. Incred­i­ble Hulk direc­tor Louis Leter­rier com­ments on this (IGN):

I wanted to address because I thought it was fun. But like Dr. Rein­stein and Vita Rays, that actu­ally was done on the day because we wanted the super serum. And the prop mas­ter said, “What do you want me to do with this?” And I said, “OK. Give me the serum.” And he said, “What color should the serum be?” I said, “Blue like Cap­tain Amer­ica and I want the cap for the vile to be red like Cap­tain Amer­ica.” And he said, “What do you want me to put on the sticker?” And I gave him Dr. Rein­stein and Vita Rays;

The appear­ance is at 2:25 in this video, not that you can really see it in this qual­ity:

A brief history of the Captain America movie production March 29th, 2009

Nego­ti­a­tions for a Cap­tain Amer­ica movie adap­ta­tion orig­i­nally started in 1997, Mark Gor­don and Gary Levin­sohn were set to pro­duce with Larry Wil­son (“The Addams Fam­ily”) and Les Bohem (“Dante’s Peak”) pen­ning the script, with financ­ing help from Arti­san in May 2000. (Vari­ety)

How­ever a law­suit between Mar­vel Comics and Cap­tain Amer­ica co-creator Joe Simon halted the pro­ceed­ings, a set­tle­ment was agreed upon in Sep­tem­ber 2003 (Vari­ety) but by this time the orig­i­nal plans had been scrapped.

The project kick-started again in 2005 with Mer­rill Lynch’s $500m invest­ment and a new plan to cre­ate 10 movies, one of those being Cap­tain Amer­ica, with dis­tri­b­u­tion by Para­mount Pictures.

In 2005 then pro­ducer Avi Arad com­mented on the plans (MTV), with a pro­jected 2008 release date and Jon Favreau at the helm.

“Cap­tain Amer­ica is the most famous char­ac­ter out there, by name. The biggest oppor­tu­nity with him is as a man ‘out of time,’ com­ing back today — look­ing at our world through the eyes of some­one who thought the per­fect world was small-town Amer­ica. Sixty years go by, and who are we today? Are we better?

“I have a writer,” he says. “And I have some­one in mind to be the star, and I def­i­nitely have some­one in mind to be the direc­tor. This script is going to take a lit­tle bit of time, because it has to be a mas­ter­piece. It’s ‘Back to the Future’ kind of stuff.”

Favreau ulti­mately decided to take on the Iron Man and Iron Man 2 projects instead and he explained his choice in an inter­view with Super­hero Hype:

SHH!: So why did you decide to do an Iron Man movie?
Favreau: […] I’d always [Avi Arad] about “Cap­tain Amer­ica,” this was long before Mar­vel broke off and became its own stu­dio, so that was the one I was inter­ested in, because I thought there were a lot of comedic pos­si­bil­i­ties with a guy who got frozen and then turned around and now is fight­ing for Amer­ica. “Iron Man” has always been the flip­side of “Cap­tain Amer­ica,” rep­re­sent­ing maybe more prag­matic, darker aspects of Amer­ica. When we first talked about the notion of doing “Iron Man,” I felt excited because it lends itself, very eas­ily, to the tech­nol­ogy that is avail­able today. Where as an organic super­hero, you know any­body who is a guy in tights is a lit­tle scary in CGI, but a robot-based guy is really a mar­riage made in heaven, so I’m explor­ing what the tech­nol­ogy has to offer. To me, with the polit­i­cal cli­mate what it is now, it’s such a com­plex char­ac­ter and these times are so com­plex, mir­ror­ing in a lot of ways, his incep­tion in the 60’s when on the cusp of Viet­nam, it was just as unpop­u­lar to have an arms man­u­fac­turer as your hero. I really wanted to explore that so it’s very excit­ing to me in that way. It’s also excit­ing because it’s Marvel’s first movie on its own.

Then in 2007 cur­rent pro­ducer Kevin Feige reported a 2009 release with David Self writ­ing (hired in 2006) (IGN),

“I have a writer on Cap­tain Amer­ica right now. […] I’m hop­ing to get a direc­tor on that very soon, to get that into the pipeline in the next year or so. David Self is writ­ing Cap­tain America.”

The movie would be split half and half between present day and World War II. Feige also com­mented on the polit­i­cal cli­mate and the strongly Amer­i­can themed hero:

“I cer­tainly think we’ll have to play with that. Play with Cap­tain Amer­ica being this patri­otic pro­pa­ganda machine on one hand, but being a very human Steve Rogers, inter­est­ing, fas­ci­nat­ing hero in his own right,” Feige says. “The good news is Mar­vel is per­ceived pretty well around the world right now, and I think putting another über-Marvel hero into the world­wide box office would be a good thing. The script David Self is writ­ing [and] the direc­tor that we end up hir­ing… we cer­tainly are going into it with our eyes open that these are all things that we have to deal with much the same way that Cap­tain Amer­ica, when thawed from the Arc­tic ice entered a world that he didn’t rec­og­nize, and had to sort of deal with the changes, whether it was when Stan [Lee] did it in the ‘60s and that world Steve Rogers was com­ing into, or the world of 2009.”

Self also com­ments

“He’s a Nor­man Rock­well char­ac­ter who is faced with today’s Amer­ica and is forced to look at his own past, things in the ‘40s that weren’t nec­es­sar­ily what they were cracked up to be, and also how today’s coun­try may be dif­fer­ent than it looks,”

The movie’s pro­duc­tion was put on hold by the 2007–2008 Writer’s Guild of Amer­ica strikes, with pro­duc­tion start­ing up again in Jan­u­ary ’08. On May 5th 2008 the film’s release date was set at May 6th, 2011. Joe John­ston (Jumanji, Juras­sic Park III) offi­cially signed on to direct in Novem­ber 2008 with Christo­pher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia) hired to re-write the script.

With Barack Obama’s elec­tion, inter­na­tional opin­ion on Amer­i­can pol­i­tics has had an up surge in pop­u­lar­ity lead­ing to changes in the movie, Kevin Feige (EW):

“The idea of change and hope has per­me­ated the coun­try, regard­less of pol­i­tics, and that includes Hol­ly­wood. Dis­cus­sions in all our devel­op­ment meet­ings include the zeit­geist and how it’s changed in the last two weeks. Things are being adjusted.

The pro­duc­tion release date has since been pushed back slightly, to July 22nd 2011.