Movie Chronicles » The First Avenger: Captain America

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.

Comments 11 Responses to “A brief history of the Captain America movie production”

Annwn­Shaman April 2nd, 2009

Glad you’re on the ball, keep­ing track of The Cap’s movie! Who’s the best pos­si­ble actor for the role? Glad you asked :) Here’s an arti­cle i wrote on that mat­ter, pic­tures included accom­pa­nied by one of my very own sketch/portrait of the actor in ques­tion ware­ing the mask!!!


You have my per­mis­sion to put up my sketch on your web­site pro­vided you don’t mod­ify it or take off my sig­ni­ture on it. To con­tact me, just fol­low the link i gave you and click under my avatar on my own fan­site where it says “con­tact me”.


Lord Mon­kees May 31st, 2009

al long as they keep capie white you know how they love to change the race of our hero to fit a pc world just look at king­pen granted hes not a hero but they messed up the black­cat story by doing so (she the king­pens daugh­ter btw and the female cap­tain amer­ica) it would be like mak­ing DR King white you just dont mess with our heros

Bren­dan Yeley May 3rd, 2010

If you’re like me when you first saw the term “arbi­trage sports bet­ting” you just said, “huh?” You may even be read­ing this arti­cle because you were won­der­ing. It is a rel­a­tively lit­tle method that can actu­ally allow you to make money no mat­ter who wins or loses. Kind of like heads I win, tails I win!

Marcelino Kocur May 7th, 2010

Hi,just dis­cov­ered your Blog when i google some­thing and won­der what host­ing do you use for your web site,the speed is more faster than my web site, i really need to know it.will back to check it out,i appre­ci­ate it!

This is my favorite blog, all the posts are very well writ­ten and i can see a lot of thought goes in to them. Keep it up! May 30th, 2010

I found this very inter­est­ing, I hope you make more posts like this!

Trailer Guy June 4th, 2010

Wow,thank you for shar­ing such use­ful information.

Movie trailer Girl June 4th, 2010

Exel­lent ‚thanks for shar­ing a lot of .

Por­sha Cabinets June 10th, 2010

I’m sure the Avengers movie will be well writ­ten, but I’m not so sure I want to go watch half the cast being killed as is his usual shtick.

diyes September 3rd, 2010

I am quite a comic book fan here, espe­cially west­ern comics and I am really look­ing for­ward to this movie. I just hope that the sto­ry­line will be well planned and inter­est­ing and avoid some stereo­typ­i­cal scenes.

rioca smith September 3rd, 2010

cap­tain amer­ica was one of my pref­ered heroes in the Mar­vel com­mics, am wait­ing for this movie since long i hope this will be a good movie

smoke rem­edy October 9th, 2010

Maybe you’ll tell me where the source of the pub­lish is from? I am inquis­i­tive about learn­ing whole lot about it.