Marvel’s ‘Captain America’ Casting Identity Crisis

Jeff Sneider, The Wrap News, March 16, 2010

While everyone seems to be chasing down flimsy leads about who’s playing Captain America, I’m left wondering: What the heck is Marvel thinking here?

It’s been a month since “Captain America” director Joe Johnston promised casting news within “a couple of weeks,” and besides a disappointing (and ever-growing) list of actors I’d never dream of installing as the title character, we’re no closer to anything firm.

What’s more, the choices thus far send all kinds of mixed signals as to where they’re going with the character–except for the fact that they’re definitely keeping Steve Rogers white. {snip}

{snip}

(At least Marvel seems intent on casting an actual American. You won’t see Sam Worthington, Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, Jude Law or Michael Fassbender donning the star-spangled tights.)

The studio did just cast British-Australian Hugo Weaving as the villainous Red Skull, and is looking overseas for its leading lady, {snip}.

None of this answers the question: How is there not one non-white actor on this list? To have 10 actors reportedly in the running, with not a single one of them African American, Latino or otherwise, isn’t exactly representative of the American population these days. Why pass on a great opportunity for Marvel to think outside the box. After all, isn’t America a melting pot?

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I should confess that I’ve never been a big comic book guy, so I’m finding it hard to drum up much enthusiasm for a Captain America movie–but that makes me exactly the type of ticket-buyer Marvel should be trying to court.

The die-hard Comic-Con crowd will see “Captain America” no matter who dons the shield. It’s the people on the fence with me whom Marvel needs to catapult this character into the realm of Superman, Iron Man and Batman.

The widespread speculation surrounding the Captain America casting is reaching absurd, almost unprecedented levels, even for the Internet, and the longer Marvel waits to announce it, the more its choice will be scrutinized.

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