Joe Johnston to Direct ‘Captain America’
Joe Johnston will be directing First Avenger: Captain America for Marvel Studios. The director has signed a deal according to The Hollywood Reporter for the film which will open May 6, 2011 setting up the final pieces prior to that July’s Avengers film.
There is no casting as yet nor is there a screenwriter.
Johnston made his name as a special effects designer for George Lucas on the original Star Wars films prior to shifting to directing and his credits include genre fare such as the underrated The Rocketeer and next year’s Wolfman film with Benicio del Toro. Johnston met with Marvel Studio execs two years ago and hit it off so this is the culmination of that relationship.
Kevin Feige told the trade, "This is a guy who designed the vehicles for Star Wars, who storyboarded the convoy action sequence for Raiders of the Lost Ark. From Rocketeer to October Sky to The Wolfman, you can look at pieces of his movies and see how they lead to this one."
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the star-spangled avenger for Timely Comics in 1941 and produced ten issues prior to leaving for DC Comics. The character, though, endured and became one of the three major stars of the comics line through the 1940s. He was briefly revived in the 1950s but lay dormant until Stan Lee created the Marvel Universe. For the fourth issue of the Avengers, he and Kirby told of how Captain America had been preserved in a state of suspended animation, trapped in a block of ice until the Sub-Mariner unwittingly tossed the chunk into the sea where the warmer waters melted the block. The Avengers found him and he returned to active duty. He has been a staple of Marvel Comics ever since.
Feige had previously indicated the film will be set during World War II and film students already saw a glimpse of the frozen form in an arctic sequence shot as an alternative opening for this summer’s Incredible Hulk. We also saw Captain America’s fabled shield in Tony Stark’s lab in Iron Man and again, director Jon Favreau indicated Howard Stark had something to do with the shield as will be revealed in forthcoming films.
Captain America had been adapted twice before. Once in two terrible telefilms for CBS and the aborted Captain America feature film from 1990 that never made it to theaters. Matt Salinger portrayed the hero and was pitted against his immortal enemy the Red Skull, who was an Italian terrorist, not a a Nazi.