Joe Johnston dropped by Hero Complex this morning for a live-chat with our readers and the ever-candid filmmaker shared plenty of insights about “Captain America: The First Avenger,” his career and his future (including that could-it-be-true Boba Fett film). You can read the whole chat right here but here are some of highlight comments.
On the Marvel Universe films: “We didn’t really direct this film toward ‘The Avengers.’ All I had to do was to bring Cap back to life and hand him off to [‘Avengers’ director Joss Whedon].
On the film’s villains: “We turned the Nazis into Hydra, the uber Nazis. Real Nazis aren’t funny, but you can slaughter them in all kinds of interesting ways and get away with it … Red Skull is a great comic book villain, but I wanted him real and more ‘human’ than he is in the comics. Hugo Weaving brought the character to life and actually made him quite charismatic.”
On “Captain America” star Chris Evans: “Chris turned down the part twice, but he was impressed by the scope of the production and the amazing artwork. His friends also told him he’d be insane to turn it down. He finally accepted and we could not have cast this movie any better than Chris … Chris is really not a smart aleck at all, but he is much more like Steve Rogers: honest, straightforward and not afraid to tell you exactly what he thinks. He was right for Cap for that and a lot of other reasons…. Chris went into serious physical training to get into great shape. He also went through weapon training and the basics of military training just to ground his performance in reality. ”
On the comic-book version of Captain America: “I was familiar with the character but not necessarily a fan. I see that as an advantage in that I can be objective and hold nothing sacred about the material…. The creative team that developed story took all kinds of creative license, we had to in order to translate the comic to the screen. ”
On supporting actor Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes: “Sebastian has a slightly dark side that makes him very interesting … he wasn’t Cap, the role he [originally] screen-tested for, but I like the idea of Bucky having a darker side, especially if he comes back as the Winter Soldier…. Bucky is very different from the sidekick in the comics. I wanted Bucky to be Steve’s best friend, but the same age. He’s always rescuing Steve from scrapes, and after Steve’s transformation the table are turned. It makes for an interesting relationship. ”
On his favorite scene in the film: “I wanted Cap/Steve to be a different kind of hero, one who is determined to do the right thing because of who he is inside. Dr. Erskine [played by Stanley Tucci] tells Steve why he is chosen for the rebirth program in my favorite scene. He’s a ‘good man.'”
On Boba Fett: “[George Lucas] is very generous with his toys, but he’s busy on other projects. I’d love to do a Boba Fett film but I’ll have to wait for George on that one… I don’t know if George is even aware that I’m amping up the interest in Boba. I hope so. I love the character and I think there’s a lot we could do with him … endless possibilities.”
On supporting actor Tommy Lee Jones: “Tommy was just a pleasure to work with. He is a very funny man, something a lot of people don’t know about him. He has the world’s greatest sense of humor … but very dry.”
— Geoff Boucher
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