Now that it looks like Joe Johnston’s The First Avenger: Captain America is going to start shooting next summer, Marvel will have to find a man to wield the shield. Who will the house that Spidey built nab to play Steve Rogers?
While a lot of prognostications nab younger actors, I think they’ll pick a somewhat grizzled screen veteran. Captain America seems like the quintessential American man’s man, so he needs to resemble one. Plus, when you consider his Nazi-fighting past and the cryogenic-like hibernation that lasted several decades, a “mature” Rogers seems like the logical choice. Let’s say 30 and up for the thespians on this list. (Here’s a very compelling argument for the casting of an older Steve Rogers.)
Since Rogers is also 6’2″, I think the actor should be 6-feet tall or taller (or close). Hair or even skin color isn’t as important as handsome, masculine looks and a good frame either. On the other hand, I don’t think the public would go for a Captain America who was too grungy (Josh Holloway) or too pretty (Paul Walker). He also should be American (sorry, Nathan Fillion) I also don’t think actors like Brendan Fraser and Matthew McConaughey are “serious” enough for the role. John Cena? Please. And Leo, you’re the man. Just not the right man.
Considering the aforementioned criteria, here’s a list of 10 candidates Marvel could tap to play Cap:
Man, does this guy have a superhero face or what? He’s a pretty damn fine actor, too, as evidenced by his work on Heroes. He’s also played a superhero before, which would aid him in his preparation for this role.
Here’s an actor who’s receiving crazy Captain America buzz. Plus, he’s starring in a new comic book TV adaption for FOX — Human Target (which has a sick cast). This wouldn’t be uncharted territory for him.
Super-Soldier Serum Sleepers
I just think he looks like an All-American guy. Not too pretty, not too rugged. I think he’s got the look. Maybe producers wouldn’t consider him tough enough for the role, though? Hard to tell. Appeared in Ang Lee’s Hulk, so he’s another comic book vet.
Here’s an actor I love who’s destined to explode this decade. I could see him bringing humanity and honor to the shield. Anyone who has seen Little Children or Watchmen (another comic book film!) knows he is physical enough for the role, too.
I’m a fan of Jake’s, and I know he’s doing the action thing in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time…but I have a hard time seeing this. Then again, Christopher Nolan damn near cast him as Batman, and you’ve gotta trust his taste at this point.
After seeing him do everything from Fight Club to The Assassination of Jesse James to Inglorious Basterds, I wouldn’t put pulling off Cap past him. If the folks at Marvel want to ensure Box Office success for their most ordinary of superheroes, they could go this route. He could also be distracting in this role.
Hey, we know he can play a badass. We have also recently seen A-list stars take on the lead role in two action franchises simultaneously (Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr.). I think he’s got too much rebel, too much swagger, in him for this role, but maybe he just really nailed the James T. Kirk role?
I love this choice. OK, stop screaming at me fanboys. I think Marvel could go really, really deep if they made this pick, and they’d also be set at the box office. Smith would guarantee that both this film and the big Avengers one would rake in the dough. We’re talking The Dark Knight cash here.
Cream of the Cap
Eckhart just looks like what many of us envision Captain America looking like. He’s also a fine actor who, like many of the other actors on this list of contenders, has superhero movie experience. A movie like this would bump him up onto the A-list.
He should be Marvel’s No. 1 draft pick. The guy absolutely owns on Mad Men, and he’s just waiting for his big break on the silver screen. If there’s an actor who could pull off Steve Rogers and what he stands for better than Hamm, I’d like to know who he is.