Captain America Movie Trivia(Total Trivia Entries: 51)
Chris Evans originally declined this role three times before signing a six-picture deal with Marvel. To find out more trivia keep on reading.
Casting Screenplay & Production
The actors that were all considered for the role of Captain America, before Chris Evans was chosen, are as follows:
- Sam Worthington
- Will Smith
- Garrett Hedlund
- Channing Tatum
- Scott Porter
- Mike Vogel
- Sebastian Stan
- Wilson Bethel
- John Krasinski
- Michael Cassidy
- Chace Crawford
- Jensen Ackles
- Kellan Lutz – auditioned
- Ryan Phillippe – auditioned
- Alexander Skarsgård – auditioned
Chris Evans originally declined this role three times before signing a six-picture deal with Marvel. He explained; “At the time, I remember telling a buddy of mine, if the movie bombs, I’m fucked. If the movie hits, I’m fucked! I was just scared. I realized my whole decision-making process was fear-based, and you never want to make a decision out of fear. I can’t believe I was almost too chicken to play Captain America.” After a meeting with the director and producer to convince him to take the role, he ultimately agreed.
Chris Evans states one of the reasons he was attracted to the role of Captain America; “”I think Marvel is doing a lot of good things right now, and it’s a fun character. Even if it wasn’t a comic book. I think the story of Steve Rogers is great. He’s a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I would probably want to do it. It wasn’t necessarily about the comic itself. He’s a great character to play; he just happens to be a comic book character.”
On the extent of Captain America’s abilities, Evans states; “He would crush the Olympics. Any Olympic sport he’s gonna dominate. He can jump higher, run faster, lift stronger weight, but he can be injured. He could roll an ankle and be out for the season. He’s not perfect, he’s not untouchable. So a lot of the effects, if I’m going to punch someone they’re not going to put them on a cable and fly them back 50 feet, but he’s going to go down, probably not getting back up, which I think humanizes it. It makes it something that, again, I think everyone can relate to a little bit more, which I really like.”
A body double was not used for the scenes when Chris Evans is skinny and shorter. The filmmakers had originally planned to use a body double and superimpose Evans face to the body double but they dropped the idea as director, Joe Johnston stated that no body double could replicate Evans unique movements. In the end a digital technology was utilized to make Evans shorter and skinnier making him into “Skinny Steve”, erasing portions of his physique. To make this possible over 250 shots were filmed because the shrinking process left empty spaces in the background and many scenes had to be shot in front of a green screen so that they could superimpose the background into the scene.
This is Chris Evans sixth comic book movie, the others were:
- Fantastic Four (2005)
- Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
- TMNT (2007)
- The Losers (2010)
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
The actresses that were considered for the role of Peggy Carter, before Haley Atwell was chosen, are as follows:
- Alice Eve
- Keira Knightley
- Emily Blunt – turned down the role
To prepare for her role as Peggy Carter, Hayley Atwell stated; “I’m training at the moment six days a week to make her a bit more military and make it convincing that I could kick butt.”
About her role of Peggy Carter, Hayley Atwell commented; “I likened her character to that famous Ginger Rogers quote. She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels. She’s an English soldier through and through, although she always looks fabulous. She might stand there with a machine-gun shooting Nazis, but she’s obviously gone to the loo beforehand and applied a bit of lipstick. She doesn’t need to be rescued. That’s exciting to me, her strength.” She goes on to state; “I think she’s quite stubborn, a slightly frustrated woman who struggles with being a woman in that time. But more importantly she’s a modern woman and she sees something in Captain America that she relates to, and becomes kindred spirits. He treats her very differently to how she’s been treated by lots of men, in this kind of dominated world she lives in. So she’s very much a fighter.”
Apparently Hugo Weaving based his character, Johann Schmidt’s/Red Skull’s accent on renowned German filmmakers Werner Herzog and Klaus Maria Brandauer.
About the character Weaving has stated; “I think the major difference between Red Skull and Captain America, they’ve both had the serum, and the serum seems to augment certain qualities that each of them have. Captain America is much more in tune with other people I think. Schmidt is in tune with himself, and his own needs, and his own ego, so I suppose it augments that. From that point of view, they’re quite opposite.”
In the movie, Hugo Weaving’s character, The Red Skull is actually never referred to as Red Skull and is only ever referred to as Johann Schmidt.
Hugo Weaving wore a latex mask conceived by prosthetic makeup designer David White. However, the visual effects team had to manipulate his face considerably due to the bulkiness of the mask and make it look like tight skin wrapped around a very boney structure. The team thinned out Weaving’s cheeks and lower lip, hollowed out his eyes, and removed his eyelashes and nose to make him appear more like the Red Skull character.
Sebastian Stan was considered for the role of Captain America, but instead he got the role of James ‘Bucky’ Barnes. Apparently Stan has signed on for “five or six pictures”.
Sebastian Stan revealed that he didn’t know anything about the comic books but in order to prepare for his role as James ‘Bucky’ Barnes he watched a lot of documentaries and movies about World War II, calling famous TV mini-series Band of Brothers “very helpful”. About his role, Stan stated; “Steve Rogers and Bucky are both orphans and kind of like brothers. They kind of grow up together and look after each other. It’s a very human, relatable thing. I also wanted to look out for how their relationship changes once Steve Rogers becomes Captain America. There’s always a competition and they’re always one-upping each other. I paid attention to how Bucky is affected by Steve’s change and suddenly Steve is this leader”.
Tommy Lee Jones character, Col. Chester Phillips, in earlier comics recruited Steve Rogers to join Project Rebirth, the secret experiment that created the Super Soldier known as Captain America. This character was updated for the movie and Jones describes him as; “the one you’ve seen in a thousand movies: the gruff, skeptical officer overseeing a team of talented, slightly sarcastic, specially talented soldiers.”
Apparently one of the reasons Stanley Tucci took the role of Dr. Erskine was because he always wanted to do a German accent.
About his role Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark (Iron Man), Dominic Cooper stated; “It’s an opportunity where you can see his future because I know the guy who becomes my son and I see myself as an older version in Iron Man 2 which is great for an actor to have those tools. All I know of him is that he’s a fantastic engineer and inventor and a very slick Howard Hughes type that’s into aviation and women!”
Creator of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee’s cameo scene appearance is when Senator Brandt is introducing Captain America in front of crowd of people but he doesn’t appear so one of Senator Brandt’s aids comes out to whisper to him that Captain America isn’t there, the shot then goes to Stan Lee who is playing a military man in uniform that says the line; “I thought he would be taller.”
It was originally planned to have cameo appearances in this movie for Logan/Wolverine (who was a soldier) and Erik Lensherrr/Magneto (who was a prisoner of war) as both were present during WWII, but this idea was dropped due to rights issues.
Cameo appearances were also planned for characters Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Prince of Atlantis, but neither were used.
Joe Simon, who created the Captain America comic in 1941 (before Stan Lee revived it in 1964), was approached to make a cameo appearance.
Samuel L. Jackson’s New York City’s Time Square scene serves a scene that preludes The Avengers (2012).
Screenplay & Production Casting
In April 1997, Marvel was in negotiations with Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn to produce Captain America. In addition, Larry Wilson and Leslie Bohem were set to write a script.
In May 2000, Marvel teamed with Artisan Entertainment to help finance the movie, however, a lawsuit arose between Marvel Comics and Joe Simon over the ownership of Captain America copyrights, disrupting the movie’s development process. In September 2003 the lawsuit was eventually settled and in 2005 Marvel received a $525 million investment from Merrill Lynch, allowing them to independently produce ten movies, including Captain America. Paramount Pictures agreed to distribute the movie.
Director of Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010), Jon Favreau had originally approached Marvel Studios to direct this movie as a comedy but instead he chose to direct Iron Man. Nick Cassavetes, director of The Hangover Part II (2011) was also considered for this movie.
After the success of Iron Man, In May 2008 Marvel announced Captain America for a May 2011 release, but was then slightly pushed back to a July 2011.
Louis Leterrier, director of The Incredible Hulk (2008), was so impressed with the concept art of this movie that he offered his services to Marvel Studios but was turned down. However, The Incredible Hulk does feature a small appearance by Captain America, which was a deleted scene set in the Arctic features his body hidden in a slab of ice.
In November 2008, Joe Johnston was chosen to direct this movie because of his directorial work on period adventure movies The Rocketeer (1991)and October Sky (1999).
In December 2009, director Joe Johnston talked about the pre-production; “Rick Heinrichs is production-designing and we’re set up down in Manhattan Beach, California. We have eight or ten really talented artists, and we all just sit around all day and draw pictures and say, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this?’ It’s that phase of the production where money doesn’t matter: ‘Let’s put all the greatest stuff up on the wall and [then later] see what we can afford.” He stated that; “The movie will begin in 1942, 1943″ during World War II. The stuff in the ’60s and ’70s comic books we’re sort of avoiding. We’re going back to the ’40s, and then forward to what they’re doing with Captain America now.”
About Captain America director, Joe Johnston has stated; “He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag- waver. He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are inside, that’s really what’s important more than your strength and everything. It’s also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing. It’s an international cast and an international story. It’s about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too.”
Producer Avi Arad has stated; “The biggest opportunity with Captain America 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?” He cited the Back to the Future trilogy as an influence, and claimed he had “someone in mind to be the star, and definitely someone in mind to be the director.”
In April 2010 it was announced that the movie’s name would be changing from The First Avenger: Captain America to Captain America: The First Avenger.
Originally this movie was meant to be a standalone, but after Joss Whedon took on the directorial duties for The Avengers (2012), he was given a copy of Captain America’s script and made a few rewrites to tie it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whedon stated; “I just got to make some character connections. The structure of the thing was really tight and I loved it, but there were a couple of opportunities to find his voice a little bit – and some of the other characters – and make the connections so that you understood exactly why he wanted to be who he wanted to be. And progressing through the script to flesh it out a little bit.”
In June 2010 production began and it was announced that the movie would shoot in London, England in late July and was expected to include scenes featuring key London landmarks. The war scenes were shot in September at the former Royal Navy Propellant Factory in the Welsh village of Caerwent. Filming also took place in Northern Quarter of Manchester, United Kingdom followed by Liverpool’s Stanley Dock area, both doubling for the period’s Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. Scenes were also scheduled to be shot in Liverpool’s Albert Dock.
In April 2011, the movie underwent reshots in the United Kingdom and in Los Angeles and a scene was also filmed in New York City’s Times Square on April 23, 2011.
There are nearly 1,600 visual effect shots used in this film that were split between thirteen different companies. To achieve the effects of the skinny, pre-super-serum Steve Rogers, director Joe Johnston stated that he used two major techniques; “Most of the shots were done by an L.A. company called LOLA that specializes in digital ‘plastic surgery’. The technique involved shrinking Chris in all dimensions. We shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Chris and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Chris alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Chris absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Chris’s actions in case the second technique were required.”
“When Chris had to interact with other characters in the scene, we had to either lower Chris or raise the other actors on apple boxes or elevated walkways to make skinny Steve shorter in comparison. For close-ups, Chris’ fellow actors had to look at marks on his chin that represented where his eyes would be after the shrinking process, and Chris had to look at marks on the tops of the actor’s head to represent their eyes. The second technique involved grafting Chris’s head onto the body double. This technique was used mostly when Chris was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical acting was required.”
Captain America’s shield, which serves as both a defensive tool and a lethal weapon, consisted of metal, fiberglass, rubber, and CG. Visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend stated; “Chris Evans would practice swinging the practical shield so he knew the arc and the speed at which he should move. We would take the shield from him and shoot the scene with him miming it. Then we would add in a CG shield.”
In April 2011, screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus said that that they have been writing a sequel for Marvel Studios. In an interview in June 2011 they stated; “The story will likely be in the present day. We’re experimenting with flashback elements for more period World War II stuff. I can’t say much more than that but we made it baggy enough to refer to more stories in the past.”
Although this movie is ‘The First Avenger’, it’s in fact the last solo Avenger movie to be released before the team-up movie, The Avengers (2012).
This is the fifth adaptation of this superhero. The previous adaptations of Captain America are as follows:
- Captain America (1944) – Serial
- Captain America (1979) – TV movie
- Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979) – TV movie sequel
- Captain America (1990) – Theatrical movie
The special forces unit that Captain America assembles and leads is a mixture of the characters from Marvel Comic’s World War II period titles. They are the 1960s war title “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos”, about an elite special forces infantry unit and the 1970s war title “The Invaders,” about a superhero team operating during the war under the command of Captain America. Most of the soldier characters are taken from the 1960’s title and the characters taken from the 1970’s title are James ‘Bucky’ Barnes and James Montgomery Falsworth, who appears in the comic book as the British super-hero.
In the scene at the World Exposition fair there is a mannequin in a red jumpsuit under a glass dome, this is a reference to the first superhero the android, the original Human Torch created by Timely Comics in October 1939, which eventually became Marvel Comics. He was also part of The Invaders along with Namor and Captain America. In 1961 Marvel Comics changed the name and the abilities of this super-hero to Johnny Storm as part of the Fantastic Four.
The comic book of Captain America showing in this movie bears the cover of the 1st actual Captain America comic released in 1941.
The famous Wilhelm Scream is used in the scene where Steve Rogers is being pursued by Hydra soldiers on motorcycles, he releases a flamethrower defense and to avoid being hit one of the Hydra soldiers swerves, loses control and is thrown headlong off his motorcycle.
The designs for Hydra’s futuristic aircraft was taken from actual WWII German concepts such as the Horten X.XVIII and Triebflügeljäger.
There is a Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) reference when Johann Schmidt first finds the Cosmic Cube and says “And the Fuhrer is digging for trinkets in the desert”.
This is the final super-hero movie that Paramount Pictures produced with Marvel Studios. The rights to The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man 3 (2013) have been bought by Disney.
Take a look at the behind the scenes featurette:
Interview with director Joe Johnston:
Interview with Chris Evans:
Interview with Hayley Atwell:
Interview with Hugo Weaving:
Still want more trivia? Then visit the official movie website.
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