COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Captain America’ director has different spin on hero: ‘He’s not a flag-waver’

July 21, 2010 | 12:44 p.m.
Captain America

 

The director of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the 2011 summer blockbuster that will coincide with the character’s 70th anniversary, says the screen version of the hero will be true to his roots — up to a certain point.

“We’re sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers,” said Joe Johnston, whose past directing credits include Jurassic Park III and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” He’s a guy that wants to serve his country, but he’s not a flag-waver. We’re reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was.”

None of that is surprising, of course — Christopher Nolan pared away significant parts of the Batman mythology (such as Robin the Boy Wonder and any super-powered villains) that didn’t fit his grim take on Gotham City, while Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. manufactured a version of Iron Man that is hard-wired for far more humor than the old-school Marvel Comics character.

Joe Johnston Captain America

 

Still, Captain America, with his name and history, is a sensitive case. A red-white-and-blue character that dates back to the Franklin Roosevelt era stirs up plenty of civic emotion — just take a look at the dust-up over the recent change to Wonder Woman’s costume. “Wonder Woman” comics are hardly a publishing-world  sensation these days but still, for a day or two, the whole world seemed to notice that she put on some pants.

Captain America Fourth of July

Johnston has been hard at work on the London set of the film but Saturday he’ll be making a whirlwind visit to Comic-Con International in San Diego to promote the film. He’ll be joined by cast members too, including his charismatic, young title star, Chris Evans, who has shown a sly, wiseguy wit in many of his previous roles. Does that make him an odd fit to play the earnest and somewhat square superhero with the Betsy Ross fashion sensibility? Johnston answered that in his film — which is set in World War II — the character will fight the enemies of America but he won’t be a stiff, slogan-spouting guy. 

“He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” Johnston said. “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’ll be interesting and fun to put a different spin on the character and one that the fans are really going to appreciate.”
 
Some pundits will pounce on all of this as another desecration of an American touchstone, but how many of them have ever read the books? The character, created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, was certainly unconflicted about his country and its mission during the clear-cut days of the 1940s, but it didn’t always stay that way. In late 1974, for instance, in the months after President Nixon’s resignation, Steve Rogers chucked the star-spangled costume and changed his hero name to Nomad (although, by 1976, Cap and original artist Kirby had the hero in bicentennial mode).
 
In recent years, Marvel star writer Ed Brubaker’s work on the character has been exceptional and never two-dimensional. Brubaker (the son of a Navy intelligence officer who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) came to recognize that Cap is a vessel that can contain whatever any generation or reader wants to put in it. In 2007, Brubaker told the New York Daily News: “What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on — and giving speeches on — the street corner against the George W. Bush administration, and all the really right-wing fans want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam Hussein.”
 
Captain America Comic-Con poster

Those sort of geopolitical vagaries and fan projections will take on much higher stakes with a $150-million-to-$200-million film. Marvel Studios put itself on the map with two “Iron Man” films that racked up a combined $1.19 billion in box office and almost half of that business ($571 million) was beyond the U.S. and Canada. For Johnston, the imperative is an artistic one, not a commercial one. He wants a character that’s more complicated than a flag, and a movie that entertains without borders.

“Yeah, and it’s also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing,” the director said. “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.”
 
 — Geoff Boucher
 
Boucher will be moderating the “Captain America: The First Avenger” panel at Comic-Con International on Saturday.
 
Top, Captain America from the pages of Marvel Comics. Second, a portrait of director Joe Johnston (Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times). Third, Captain America, circa 1976. Fourth, the image from the “Captain America: The First Avenger” one-sheet that Marvel will hand out at Comic-Con International. Bottom, Captain America and friends in today’s comics.
 
 

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Comments


101 Responses to COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Captain America’ director has different spin on hero: ‘He’s not a flag-waver’

  1. Brett says:

    I'm reserving judgment on this film until I see it (which everybody really should, with every film). I'm ignoring the whole "Cap's in the USO because the government doesn't want to risk its investment" plot device, as well as this latest proclamation from the director that a character who was so gung-ho to serve his country and fight the atrocities of Nazi Germany that he agreed to a potentially lethal experiment on his body but is now "not a flag-waver." I liked the Rocketeer, which this guy directed, so I'm really hoping that all of these incredibly illogical statements he's making will still somehow result in an entertaining film that's reasonably true to the Cap character.

    • kenneth.madore says:

      I see you never read many of the comic books. It wasn't just about the Germans but aliens using the regime to conquer the world. He eventually got sick of politicians trying to use him and denounced his red white and blue and went to black to make this real short. He only wanted to save lives thats all. and no he was no flag waver! people should do their research before they speak!

  2. Charlie says:

    "It's about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too…" I hope Johnston is kidding with this liberal hollywood blather.
    The rest of the world ISN'T great – that was the point of WWII.
    If the rest of the world is so special, why not just make a "Captain United Nations" movie? Oh, that's right – no one would pay to see that.
    I've read Captain America comics for years. While the character shouldn't be portrayed in a 2 dimensional way, his "flag waving" (See the costume, Joe) was a large part of his appeal. Mr. Brubaker is a very talented writer, but there is plenty of room between presenting Captain America as a right wing ideologue and a left wing "One World" Obama supporter. When push comes to shove, Mr. Brubaker always finds a way to make Cap lean to the latter. I hope Mr. Johnston doesn't follow suit.
    The Nolan example does not fit here – Robin was not the central point of Batman in 1939. Nolan simply took the character back to his roots. "America" is obviously at the core of Captain America.
    I like the concept art released for the ComicCon and am looking forward to the movie…but am also concerned that the character will be stripped of what made him appealing to readers for so many decades.

    • Alaris says:

      I couldn't have said it better, Charlie – "…he isn't a flag waver." I guess Joe is right. You can't wave a flag you are WEARING. I will give Joe this benefit of the doubt–although 95 percent of Hollywood seems to have a 6th-grade liberal mentality, Hollywood is an international money-making organizations. Films that flop state-side can still find success oversees and spawn sequels. That said, how much of Joe's comments can be attributed to his 6th grade teacher and how much to his financeers?

  3. Geox says:

    It's a worldwide box office now, you can't have a rah-rah-America character and expect to make tons of money outside the US.

  4. JGNY says:

    It figure, they will make him a liberal and a flag burner within 20 minutes of the movie. he will change his star for an Obama tee shirt

  5. David says:

    Geox — you know this how? Where have rah-rah-America characters failed? When was the last time Hollywood actually had a rah rah America character?

  6. HollywoodRon says:

    Hollywood used to make movies that sold the American ideal to the world. Now we apologize and bow to the rest of the world, all the while, their enslaved, poor & hungry keep struggling desperately to get… into… America.

    • Lobo says:

      Hey jackass,

      A lot of the world is enslaved, poor and hungry thanks to 'America' as you call it. Sounds like you need a history lesson.

  7. Rebelcomix says:

    Both Johnston and Boucher need a reality check.
    Captain America represents everything that's great about this country. Taking the America out of Captain America just makes him a dude in a silly costume who doesn't believe in anything. This isn't about updating the character. It is entirely about Hollywood's need to push it's politics on it's audience.
    As to defending the decision by bringing up Nomad– I never read those issues, but by Boucher's own statements, Cap disagreed with a President. He didn't abandon America or decide that the dreams he represented weren't worth fighting for. Even when Marvel did a story where Rogers was fired and simply became "The Captain", he remained true to his identity.
    As to Ed Brubaker– he's a great writer. He's also someone who needs to push politics. It's exactly why I stopped buying his work. I haven't heard a single right wing comics fan who has ever argued that there should be stories about Iraq. Truthfully I don't believe anyone wants to read comics about politics. I seem to recall a Guantanamo Bay story a few years back that bombed.
    Hollywood can keep making films like this. We'll just keep on not seeing them.

  8. Chris says:

    Since when did it become a crime to be a "flag waver"?
    I am not saying that Hollywood hates America, but it clearly hates the notion of patriotism.

  9. ann says:

    Heaven forbid Captain America should, you know, be a proud American.

  10. niconintendork says:

    yep, it's goin' to be artistic like Jurassic Park 3.

  11. Alabama Greaser says:

    More complicated than a flag? Liberal garbage… If this guy has a problem with Captian AMERICA being patriotic, he should have never accepted the job.

  12. KH says:

    This is…really not far from the comics at all? Captain America has always been more pro-what America stands for than pro-American government/rightwingishness. The only time he was hardline "'MERICA!" was during WWII, when it was basically a propaganda comic. There's been sooo many plotlines where he became disillusioned with America itself and went for American ideals. I'm guessing most of the "ARGH HOW COULD THEY DO THIS, I'M SUCH A FAN!" have never really read the comics.

  13. Ben says:

    This is what America has been clamoring for, a politically left leaning movie from Hollywood about an American Icon. It will surely tap into a under appreciated market in the American film going community.
    All you need to do is throw Jake Gyllenhaal into the film and it will be a guaranteed success.
    I surely do hope they fill it with references to the last administration like Hollywood did in the final Star Wars movie, which had fantastic dialogue and great acting to boot.
    I often think to myself, the entertainment industry in America isn't hyper partisan enough, if only every aspect of my life could have someone politcs injected into it, the world would be a better place.

  14. Uncle Sam says:

    Disney Inc!
    You screw-up like you often do ever since you stole Walt's name. You screwed up the casting, the director all to guarantee you get a big pay from those over-sea's who never understood or like us much even when we were saving their sorry asses.
    Keep you're dirty hands off my Nephew !

  15. Whiskey says:

    That's ridiculous. "Global" movies don't make much money — piracy and iffy accounting make foreign box office and DVD sales pretty much nothing, when it comes to studio profits. Warners closed its Spanish language and Korean language DVD division due to piracy.
    What makes money is merchandise. Disney hopes for $2.4 billion in revenue off Toy Story 3D. Cars made a total of $2 billion in profits. Its Toys Toys Toys. And sheets, licensing, and so on.
    Making Captain America without the America will be the sort of bland, guaranteed to fail, character that won't generate any toy and merchandising sales from 9 year boys (and their parents). That is what will make money or not for Disney.
    Disney does not get it, but what do you expect with openly gay execs who understand the Princess fantasy market but have not a clue as to what straight 9 year old boys want (hint: its not Captain Planet).

  16. Gromit says:

    So Marvel is making Cappy into Oliver flippin' Queen?
    I'll save my $12. No sale.
    I can see NOT producing a Captain America film. But if you're gonna bother, make him an unabashaed patriot who believes his country gets it right the overwhelming majority of the time.
    This is whether or not you AGREE that the USA is like that. The point is, CAPPY is like that.
    Changing the character this much, is simply too much.
    Up next from Marvel: The kinder, gentler THOR, now with no lightning but only thunder. Because y'know, he's not a flag-waver!

  17. theworldisnotenough says:

    Hollywood did the same thing with Superman returns. Not a single American flag in the entire movie and the colors in Superman's costume were purposely changed, too close to the American flag. Final budget $209 million. Worldwide gross $391 million. Good job Brian Singer.
    Spider-Man (2002), remember the commercial where Spider-Man swings onto a flag pole with a huge American flag on it? Go back and take a look. Worldwide gross $821,708,55. Production costs $140 million.
    But hey its not my money

  18. Alexander says:

    "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."
    What he meant to say is that he wants the movie to sell outside of America. It's fine, I understand it's a business, but don't try to spin this bull to us that Captain America is really Captain International.
    If you have a problem with who the character is that wears a red white and blue costume and is a U.S. super-soldier, you probably should have directed Thor.

  19. Jet Black says:

    Yep! A "gay super hero" in the making. I will spend my money not at the movies certainly.

  20. Thomas M. says:

    I would like to thank the Director and the writer of the story. You just saved me from wasting 3 hours of time (movie and drive time) and the cost of admission and snacks. I will vote with my wallet and see something else.

  21. Dave says:

    For all those offended by the "liberalness." He just means it won't be politically charged, just entertaining for all audiences. Chill, they need to make their money back. Oh, and enjoy the movie when it comes out and you go see it.

  22. Brian Cody says:

    I'm sorry but this is total BS. Captain America has always been a flag waver but he also would stand against the government when he saw corruption in it. He believed what America stood for. His origin was he was a declared a 4F during World War 2 but wanted to serve his country so he let himself be subjected to experiments to become a super solider. In the era that Captain America began people were PROUD to be called a patriot. I don't know why "flag waver" is a dirty word today. What is wrong with loving your country? I personally think that liberals don't like "flag wavers" or "patriots" because they know we will always stand in the way of their socialist agenda. Look at the Iron Man movies. They portrayed the character in the movies as he was portrayed in the comics and the movies went on the make over a billion dollars. If you stray too much from Captain Americas source material instead of making a billion dollars you could end up with a $200 million dollar flop. Captain America has been around longer than I've been alive and that should tell you something, that his character as is hits a cord with his fans. Beware of pissing off the fans.

  23. Ellen says:

    Captain America without the America. No thanks.

  24. Jaimo says:

    Well, that movie should suck like all the other ones that interpret doing the "right thing" with a severe left-wing bent.

  25. Emerson says:

    Maybe in the movie he can go around the world on an apology tour like Dear Leader did.

  26. Skip says:

    I'll go to this movie, but I'll be going to my local second run movie theater and pay $5 per ticket, $2 for popcorn and $1 for a bottle of water….SuperHeroe movies used to be the only refuge to escape the liberalification of all the movie. Now, thanks to tools like Johnston, it's only a matter of time before these get taken over too. That's while I'll go see it but at a lower cost and maybe for the sequel they'll find someone else who actually loves his country.

  27. ToddonCapeCod says:

    Then why not just call him "Captain Not A Flag Waver"?
    Once again, the beautiful people of Hollywood are ashamed of this country, even with one of their own in power

  28. caroline says:

    After what was done to GI Joe, why should anyone be surprised? The Real American Hero was taken out of GI Joe, no more red, white, and blue logo, now it's an International Group. Can't have just the US be heroes. Supposedly because of the int'l box office, but if you look closer, you'd also realize the filmmakers had no intention of ever making a flag waving pro-America movie that would make conservatives happy. They wanted to give GI Joe a liberal spin and that's the same think that will happen to Captain America.
    People should be happy it's not called Captain International. And Ed Brubaker is a socialist liberal who's ruined X-Men. Why do people like his books so much?

  29. The Bell says:

    Flag-wavers aren't heroes. They're exceptionally dull.
    Anyone not quite grasping this: whip out your polyester flag and flap on over to somewhere flag-waving counts as heroic. It'll be a long flight, and boy, will your arms be tired.

  30. amd says:

    Great idea for those of you who skip out on Brubaker's work, he's the best writer out there.
    For those of you who don't understand Captain America, he's a symbol of America's ideals, not a political party. He will not stand idle when a oppressive group attacks an individuals rights, be this in 1945, in 1975, or 2006. In the 70's he became Nomad, because of the Watergate scandal. He returned as Captain America, stating that he represents the American Dream, not any party. When the US government created an act that paralleled the Patriot Act (SHRA), he stood against it. He stated that we must got confuse dissent with disloyalty, and that he would never give up fighting for freedom, be it against super villains, or politicians.
    Steve Rogers represents the ultimate human being, one who is unshakable in his values. The shield, the outfit, the serum, they don't make Captain America. Its the conviction that lies inside Steve Rogers that makes Captain America. He did not care what others thought of him, he did what he knew was right.
    To quote him "[It] Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world – "No, you move."

  31. John says:

    I dont care seems cool….. I only care about america anyways not the other countries or their starving children….

  32. Ben Gonzalez says:

    Of course! We can't offend the Arab world of reminding them that Jews were saved. Captain America just keeps the myth alive that the holocaust happened and that WWII was not a war for control of natural resources and flat out racism against the Japanese.
    I don't need to see the movie… spoiler alert for the script summary:
    Evil corporate guy teams up with US military type being guided by none other than "Crazy Joe" McCarthy. Henry Ford turns out to be a secret Nazi supplier and we find out that a Bush let Pearl Harbor happen. Along the way we see all the environmental damage caused by US war production.

  33. Chris says:

    Makes sense that Captain American fans would be such blind right wing freaks.
    Cap was America back when America was the Heroic Nation of the world. Times have changed. We are now the invaders. We are now the "Nazis". Now, being American and "Doing the right thing" are very different.
    Cap was fired by the U.S. Government in the comics for this very reason. He chose to do the right thing, which was not the "American" thing.
    To Charlie, gonna guess you've never been anywhere else in the world, or you'd know there are quite a few countries BETTER than the U.S.. Countries that are how the U.S. used to be before we changed the meaning of freedom to "personal satisfaction at the expense of others".

  34. John Taylor says:

    @Chris – Wow. Unbelievable. I know next to nothing about Captain America or this situation (and I don't really care) but if people like you are defending this decision by the filmmakers, than I know what side I'm on.
    "We are now the Nazis"? Are you serious with that BS? Do you have any idea how idiotic, ignorant and offensive you are? Do you know how many of our grandfathers, great-grandfathers, uncles, etc, gave their lives to stop the Nazis from enslaving the world and murdering millions and millions of people? Of course you don't, because you're a blithering liberal idiot.

  35. Brett says:

    By the way, Boucher implies that Cap stopped being Cap for a while and became Nomad because of Nixon's resignation in 1974. The actual storyline had Cap battling an organization called The Secret Empire. Upon destroying the Empire and discovering the identity of its leader (referred to as a high ranking White House official, and heavily implied to be Nixon), and seeing that person commit suicide, Cap became disillusioned with being Cap and working with the US government. Writer Steve Englehart took the Nixon resignation and amplified it considerably for the storyline.
    While I can appreciate Johnston not wanting Cap to be a right-winger or neo-con, which Cap never was, he was most certainly a "flag waver" so long as that term doesn't carry the implications that liberals are so keen on giving it.
    When Cap was courted in the mid-70's to be a Presidential candidate (first by an independent party, and then by both the Democrats and the Republicans!), he turned it down saying that his duty to the American Dream would be compromised if he assumed the duties of the Presidency.

  36. Mike S says:

    This is starting to sound like that G.I.J.O.E. idiocy. He doesn't need to shout slogans, but he can't be apologizing for America – especially not in his first modern movie appearance. Probably why they set it in WWII. Doesn't sound like this director could stomach directing a modern day Captain America movie.
    Hollywood should probably just keep its hands off patriotic symbols. I'd hate to see a wishy-washy Captain America scuttle the Avengers movie.

  37. MKS says:

    Perhaps we need a discussion about what makes the United States great.
    From my perspective, the greatness of the U.S. does not derive from our European ethnicity, nor from the resources found in the North American continent. The greatness is nothing to boast about, but rather to appreciate and propagate. The source of U.S. greatness could be transplanted to any geographic region – although many years might be required for the people there to emotionally embrace the philosophical underpinnings of U.S. greatness.
    Can you see the vision
    That has kept this land?
    All men’s rights are given
    From God’s mighty hand.
    So we join together
    To protect the weak.
    This is what we stand for,
    This is what we seek.
    Can you hear the story
    Of our people’s dream
    For clear justice flowing
    Like a running stream?
    To refresh the weary,
    And uphold the true,
    This is what we long for,
    There is work to do.
    Can you hope for freedom?
    All the world awaits.
    We are just one nation,
    These United States.
    But we have a vision
    Good for any land:
    All men’s rights are given
    From God’s mighty hand.
    – Marty Smith, poem author & religious far-right winger

  38. jim simon says:

    Hollywood has always been a tough place to transfer an original story to the screen with integrity. That's business, that's Hollywood. But if this movie is based on the first 10 issues of S&K's Captain America, which I keep hearing it is, I hope the producers get rid of that "geek-show" USO concept and I hope they don't end the movie with the ice bath. I also hope they come to realize that the original Cap was no crazed "flag waver": He was an ordinary man of his time who soldiered for this country not to wave a flag help but to help put an end to a very real evil that was trying–and succeeding–to take over the world–yes, the world, not just America. And, yes, his uniform was in the colors of the flag but in battle the those "bright colors" would have quickly become muted and that is how the producers could have got around the uniform problem without turning Cap into another generic superhero with another generic costume. The original uniform was unique–to see this image on the battle field would have put great fear into the hearts of the enemy. The original Cap was a terrifying weapon, as terrifiying and powerful as the later A-bomb and its mushroom cloud that finally brought the Pacific enemies to their knees.

  39. Ed says:

    The revealing part of the comment, of course, is that this director seems to think "flag-waving" is a bad thing somehow, and immediately associates it with jingoism.
    Most Americans are proud of our our country and, yes, we demonstrate that pride by wearing or flying flags. There is nothing jingoistic about that.
    It is sad that this director doesn't get that. Then again, he is responsible for Jurassic Park III, so we probably shouldn't give him too much credit in the brains or common sense categories. There have been worse movies, but not very many.
    Hollywood ruining superheroes is nothing new. It is the rule. Successfully portrayed superheroes, such as Spiderman, are the exception.

  40. Dave Cable says:

    This is clearly a guy trying to promote his movie to the largest audience possible, which is a necessity when dealing with a 200 million dollar product. If you read between the lines I don't see anything to get alarmed about. As for the character himself; Captain America has been used mostly to represent the best of what mankind can be. He has done so many times throughout his history without backing US policy or the government. That's because he represents the ideal that America strives for, but does not always achieve. People who argue that he's too liberal or too conservative are missing the point of the character, and of America in general. America is a place where all perspectives are respected and allowed. To try and pigeonhole Captain America to suit either the liberal or conservative agenda is just as futile as trying to turn America itself into a place that only allows or pursues one perspective. Thats not what its about, and you will never make it that way. Defend your perspective, but respect the fact that America respects them all.

  41. Phil says:

    I'm as down on blind patriotism as the next weak-kneed, bleeding-heart liberal (who loves how Ed doesn't ever take the easiest way out with his stories, but tries to produce something that generates some thought), but Cap's supposed to give great, rousing, inspiring speeches about what the idea of America (not a political party, nor an administration, not even a television show) really means, and how anybody who believes in that idea has to oppose tyranny, hatred, oppression and evil in all its forms. I don't know if, "Just stay true to yourself," Cap is going to hit quite the same marks. I'm gonna hold out hope, though…

  42. Shing says:

    For those who say "Oh, American centric movies can't make money overseas because everybody hates us.", i say "bite me and get educated".
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=nationalt
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=nationalt
    both made more foreign than domestic. For every person that thinks America is now irrelevant to rest of the world, i simply say look at what would happen if we stopped all of our aid and everything else, and took our toys and went home. See what the world looks like then.

  43. Juan Oskar says:

    Why would Captain America & the movie makers fight an enemy that lost the war 65 years ago? Why can't CA fight Middle East terrorists, or drug cartels, or might we offend them. Americans and the movie industry weren't worried about offending Tojo & the Nazis. That's what made those old movies great!

  44. Spede says:

    Why would I want to see some patriotic american idiot with panty hoses? It will definitely bomb in the box offices outside America. It doesn't help at all if they have "international" cast. Of course the hero and "the best guy" is American and the rest of the bunch (Europeans I guess) are just a bunch of fools or depicted lesser in all qualities. Would Americans go see movie called "Captain Russia"? No f***ing way. I won't even bother to torrent it.

  45. J. Austin McKnight says:

    If you change the character, Captain America, you will have two major issues that should worry the director.
    1. If you change him too much then he won't be Captain America anymore and you will loose your major fan-base, which is America. Captain America, according to even the most un-informed fans, is for the people of the United States the same way Batman has a heart for Gotham and so protects Gotham city. If you take away this virtue you loose the heart of the character and probably his fans, both distant and dedicated ones.
    2. It's Captain America. Did we really expect much market outside of America? Know not only your audience but potential audience. You should not be aiming for an unreachable audience but rather focus on the people already dedicated and those on the line. This is the rule for politics and it is also the rule for marketing. Captain America is going to primarily catch the eye of people in America.

  46. Spike says:

    "What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on — and giving speeches on — the street corner against the George W. Bush administration, and all the really right-wing fans want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam Hussein."
    There will always be stupid people willing to share their brilliant insights as to what is best. Patriotism is still alive – look at how many hoodwinked people would like to tar and feather their "honorable representatives".
    So is this marketing move based on a perceived need, or rather someone trying to impress people with his grand artistic vision?

  47. Jared says:

    I honestly lean very left but I see no problem is letting captain america be a strong nationalist. Super heroes, like real people, should come in all personalities and political bents; they seem more realistic.
    Liberals have Green Arrow, conservatives can have Captain America, it makes sense.
    As to the whole Fox News "OMG THEY ARE MAKING WONDER WOMAN LESS PATRIOTIC" story…. shes not even an american, she comes from some amazon island….

  48. What the hell says:

    Another insult to our way of life. Where has our nations pride gone?

  49. Treadwell Franklin says:

    Just like in Superman, Captain America will be sisi-fied and de-countried in order to appeal to international audiences who hate us. Also to appeal to our own socialist liberals who hate themselves.
    Truth, justice, and all that stuff..

  50. john says:

    So basically we're getting another Superman Returns? Great.
    And on a side note I would just like to say that it is probably best for anything and everything associated with Marvel's "Civil War" to be forgotten. That was such a BS clusterfark that I have refused to read Marvel ever since (it irked me even more than House of M).

  51. Dragonii says:

    First they turned G.I. Joe into a UN task force instead of the "Great American Hero" that we all grew up with and now Hollywood is ruining Captain America?
    What part of the name do you not get Johnston? What part of the red, white and blue costume do you not see?
    Join our group on Facebook to protest this Cap fans?
    Let him know how real Americans feel.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13084699029

  52. Dude says:

    So let me get this straight, Captain America is an internationalist?
    "Yeah, and it's also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing," the director said. "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."
    Let me ask you something? When you lost your mind, what was it like?
    So China is a great place, where the government controls there lives and there people are slaves? All Muslim country's are just wonderful places to live. Russia is fantastic place, Putin is just a nice fellow? How about this, why don't you just stick the U.N. flag on his chest, it could be a movie about doing nothing and he can sit there and watch people get murdered. He why not it will have violence, people love violence.

  53. Larry says:

    Captain America represents everything that's great about this country and those ideals are bigger than the USA. Doing the right thing is what motivated and led our founding fathers into a revolt against England, right? Believing in strong principles is what leads people to do amazing things, right? Why else would a firefighter enter a burning building? Captain America represents the ideals and principles that America was built upon and these are larger than a country and represent a human condition (a good one at that) to do the right thing no matter the situation or the conditions. I am looking forward to the movie.

  54. Rudy Guevara says:

    ONLY

  55. Tammy Smith says:

    I'm glad that CA won't be a flag-waver, actually. Patriotism seems to equal nationalism in this country, & I'm weary of it. Why can't Americans love their country without denigrating other countries?

  56. David Powell says:

    I disagree with those who say pro-US will kill box office. Many anti-US movies have died very badly at the box office in the last couple years and I think a pro-US movie can make a big hit, there is an audience there to tap.

  57. Why not Captain America as a patriotic flag waver!

  58. David Heldenbrand says:

    "He wants to serve his country, but he's not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver," Johnston said. "He's just a good person.
    that was the director's take on the new captain america. I like that. I always felt like there was something about the cap's personality that pulled him apart. it was that sometimes he was yelling at the top of his lungs about nazis and then having a deep and silent moment of thought all by himself right after it. The conflict between the introvert and the extrovert. The cap' i admire is not the extrovert (the preacher), but the introvert; the hero who's heart and mind work in sync. what is most important when making that movie is that they focus on making him 'a good person' because behind the flag and the flying shells of enemy fire, captain america is a good person and a model for what a good person should be, heart and mind. his simple yet profound personality transcends even the deepest wisdom.

  59. lkjoloy says:

    Lots of outrage about "flag waving themes" and "liberal Hollywood, but little outrage about how this movie isn't being filmed in America????

  60. drsanto says:

    Sounds lame.
    In case the director of the movie isn't aware~ the very FIRST issue of Captain America shows him knocking out Hitler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Captainamerica1
    Dear Marvel~ if the movie crashes and burns, it's because directors like this one are taking liberties (sic) with "our" characters. If it's successful, it's because people like me have been waiting for years to see our heroes onscreen and will go despite the political correctness. If it's too bad, there's no chance we'll buy the movie.
    Captain America has ALWAYS been an American(!) patriot. Don't sell him out.
    DRS

  61. drsanto says:

    So~ just yesterday I was telling my son about all the great super-hero movies coming up and I'm more excited about it than he is…
    Then, I read the Director's view of the character and unless the director is replaced or his attitude is changed, I'm not even going to bother taking my son to see it.
    While I realize a poor showing might hurt the chances of the other movies being done, I'd rather the movies not even be made than to have the essence of the characters themselves destroyed.
    As a side note, it is interesting to me several of the people who seem uncomfortable with us "right wingers"~ i.e., anyone who has the audacity to think Captain AMERICA should be patriotic~ change the argument.
    It was never about whether Captain America should be left or right or even, all-inclusive; Captain America is a fantastic story about an American Patriot. If you take that away, then you've destroyed the character, the movie and a whole lot of interest.
    Like I said~ unless the Director or his attitude changes, we're going to skip it. Darn~ I was really looking forward to seeing it, too.
    DRS

  62. Joey says:

    I think he needs an update. He should be an obese, SUV driving, gun-toting, Tea Party member. America! Yeah!

  63. Dolphin says:

    "The rest of the world ISN'T great – that was the point of WWII. "
    Wow. What a massive insult to all the non-Americans who died fighting in WW2 in order to defend your freedom (just as much as many US soldiers did).
    If this is the kind of small minded parochial view of the world and Americas place in it that the director is planning to avoid, then thank God.

  64. wolfslair says:

    that;s great…I bet those anti american yuppies are going to love this film…and so will obamma

  65. TT says:

    As you can see by these posts about Obama, liberals and even Captain America fans, there isn't much to flag wave about. The country has become two parties going at it and not for the good of the flag.
    So while everyone stands on their soapbox and waves the flag and says they are right, America continues to take a hit. Good job everyone.

  66. The Bell says:

    What would be really heroic is Captain America against Corporate America.

  67. Edgar says:

    Just take a look at his picture (Christopher Nolan), he looks like an angry liberal (Socialist Progressive…Whatever!).
    It's useless folks!… until you realize that Hollywood is there to make America look bad and promulgate the New World Order agenda, you will always feel wronged and hurt (from the standpoint of a fan) whenever Hollywood character-assassinates or completely remakes a character to their own Liberal image. Just boycott the movie, and if you really want to see it, just download it for free in the internet. That way you are not giving them a single cent and hurt them where it counts…the bottom line!

  68. Drew Collins says:

    Ahhhh,…here we go. Already the disguised apologies are surfacing for the liberal treatment of Cap. Just like in Superman when the liberal Hollywood treatment slithered into the script by replacing the classic line "Truth,Justice,and the American way" with the disgraceful "Truth, Justice,and all that other stuff".
    So disappointing that Marvel would allow a "worldview" to govern the one character that is "ours" truly an American. I'm surprised they haven't changed his costume to green with a Prius on the shield, and "hope and change" printed under it.

  69. Stefan Fycyk says:

    Johnston is another Hollywood "revionis" director. captain America embodied America not the rest of the world. This new PC BS has to stop. —-It's about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too? What kind of Obama loving hippie crap is this? AMERICA saved the world twice in one century. The rest of the world is two-bit dictators, genocide, islamo fascists, and a continent (Africa) rampant with aids. The rest of the world is garbage, and the Annointed One is pushing us over the edge! Sorry won't spend my money on leftist crap!

    • YouDumbasses says:

      You do know that America joined WWII late. They weren't even gonna move their lazy fat asses til Pearl Harbor was bombed. What makes America great? While the rest of the world were fighting and attempting to weak the enemy forces, you just joined in when they were already scattered and not paying attention.

  70. CJ says:

    Captain America was in fact anti-partisan.
    Oh yeah….Just to clarify something. Being a Libertarian "Tea Party" member does not mean you are republican. As a matter of fact it is a totally different party. The two are simply working together now to fight against current policies they are against. There are just as many difference between the Tea Party and the Republicans as there are differences between the Tea Party and Democrats. I'm getting really tired of this misconception. Just remember; there are more than two parties in this country, and those parties need more recognition. This is a democracy and everyone deserves a voice. Oddly enough that is one thing Cap was for.

  71. […] “Captain America” director’s new spin: Hero is no flag-waver […]

  72. […] wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” Johnston told Hero Complex. “He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are […]

  73. […] wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” Johnston told Hero Complex. “He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are […]

  74. MuadDib says:

    James Bond is defined by his British roots, yet he is incredibly popular in the United States. I would love to see an Alpha Flight Movie, but not unless they were Canadian. (and don't kill Guardian! That broke my heart!) Enemy at the Gates was a movie without a single American character, and it is beloved here in the US. A Bridge to Far (my favorite World War 2 movie) had Americans play a minor role, favoring the British, Dutch, and even German perspective.

    So why not make Cap American? Why downplay him being American?

  75. MuadDib says:

    Ed Brubaker is a self described Seattle liberal, which is fine. A lot of great artists are liberal. However, he lets his political views make their way into his writing way too much. I don't like his work, and prefer the Ultimate version, created by Mark Millar (an Irish citizen I believe.) When I heard that Ed Brubaker was at least consulting on the script, my heart sank. Personally, I think Cap should be APOLITICAL, and have a soldier's point of view. (which is not liberal activist, sorry Mr Brubaker)

    As far as changing the name in other countries, I don't really care. As long as they don't change the essense of Captain America.Anyway, I love the photos I have seen. I think Evans looks great, as well as the suit. The Hydra troops look cool, so here's hoping.

  76. Sammy says:

    I wont be watching this movie. Why bother with another liberal America bashing movie. Boycott this movie until hollywood understand we are sick of their crap. The director can kiss my red white and blue behind.

  77. ryan says:

    This guy has the potential to ruin an American comic icon. Why exactly was he chosen to direct this if he didn't want a guy wearing the American flag to be a flag-waver, what does that mean anyways. This article makes me not want to see a movie about my favorite comic book character.

  78. […] upcoming “Captain America” film and director Joe Johnston has made a point to say that the character won’t be a flag-waver, suggesting that Steve Rogers and his love of country will have some complicated layers to it. Loeb […]

  79. […] Johnston: Steve Rogers won’t be “flag waver” More in: Movies, Captain America: The First AvengerChris EvansChris HemsworthConan the BarbarianDwayne JohnsonFast FiveGame of ThronesJason MomoaOrlando BloomRebecca KeeganSylvester StalloneThe RockThorTobey Maguire […]

  80. […] Johnston: Steve Rogers won’t be “flag waver” More in: Movies, Captain AmericaCaptain America: The First AvengerHero Complex Film FestivalJoe JohnstonL.A. eventsMarvel […]

  81. DinaK says:

    Sickening. "it's not so much about America." Why not? The title character Is Captain AMERICA for Pete's sake! And just how many countries out there are doing the so-called right thing besides us? If we do not take the lead, then they do jack squat except for maybe israel. Give me a break. The leftists cannot stand the U.S. Why bother to even make the movie if you will not be loyal to the original concept and story. Instead of being lazy and ripping off a good deal of the premise, why didn't they just make up their own leftist super-hero who hands out exercise pamphlets and anti-Mcdonalds Happy Meals flyers?

  82. buzzy says:

    Why dont we see beautiful graphics like these on t shirts. Especialy captain america firefighter hero.

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