The best defense is a good offense, and for Captain America that has meant seven decades of slinging his indestructible shield in the face of foes. The red-white-and-blue disc looks so good flying through the air that they even made a song about it.
But director Joe Johnston says fans shouldn’t expect too much shield-throwing when ”Captain America: The First Avenger” arrives in theaters July 22 with Chris Evans in the starring role. The reason? It should be a truly special moment when Steve Rogers lets it fly.
“The whole thing about throwing the shield was given a lot of thought,” Johnston said. “And you know he just doesn’t do it a lot in the movie. I’d say maybe four of five times? But when he does, it’s a big deal; he really saves the day.”
In the pages of Marvel Comics (and the Golden Age pages of Timely Comics before that), one of the most dynamic visuals was the flight path of the hero’s spinning shield as it slashed across a page, especially when the character’s co-creator, Jack Kirby, was the one putting pencil to paper.
The power of that translated image is valuable to the new Marvel Studios film — especially considering the movie is in 3-D — and Johnston believes that overuse would undermine the thrill.
“He’s not slinging it around all the time and using it randomly,” said the filmmaker, whose credits include “Jurassic Park III,” “Jumanji” and “The Rocketeer.” “He throws it when it’s the right thing to do, and those are special moments. We opted to preserve those moment just to make them so special.”
Johnston added: “He uses the shield a lot for protection, as you would expect, and as a weapon, like a battering ram; he slams it down almost like an ax of sorts, and he uses it as a pry bar. But when he throws it, those are the highlight-reel moments.”
– Geoff Boucher
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