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Joe Johnston explains why he picked Chris Evans for Captain America

04.13.2010

The furor surrounding the casting of CAPTAIN AMERICA was a whirlwhind for a few weeks there, as after months of nothing, we were suddenly flooded with lists of names and promises of sure things and alleged facts about who was in and who was out.

But in the end, very suddenly and out of nowhere, Chris Evans got the part. Strange, seeing as his name was nowhere near most of the lists we had seen. How did it all come to pass? Earth’s Mightiest recently talked to director Joe Johnston about it, and the answer might surprise you.

"Casting Captain America is really casting two roles...Steve Rogers before and after the transformation from 98 pound weakling to perfect physical specimen. I can't divulge how we're going to do it, but the performance will be Chris Evans from beginning to end. An actor playing Captain America has to embody that backstory and let it inform his understanding of his new self. One of the interesting aspects of the character is the effect that kind of total transformation would have on the his psyche. It gives the character more dimension and the actor playing him a wider range of interesting choices.

Chris didn't audition at all. I was already familiar with everything he'd done and was championing his cause, not that I had a fight from the Marvel team. They were fans of his as well. He came in to the art department to say hi, saw all the jaw-dropping art and designs on the wall and reacted the way I'd hoped he would. It was really his wonderful enthusiasm for everything he saw that cinched the deal. We have some of the best designers and illustrators in the industry working for us and the art is just incredible to wander through. He will bring the perfect balance of dramatic performance and physicality to the role."

So after all that, Evans didn’t even have to audition? Man, I bet John Krasinski was pretty bummed when he found out after all that work he was relegated to a fun trivia question along the lines of “Did you know, Tom Cruise almost played Iron Man (true) and John Krasinski almost played Captain America? Absurd!”

I do like the Evans pick overall, and honestly I’ve loved the guy in everything I’ve seen him in thus far. I just think for the most part he’s been the victim of lackluster projects (FANTASTIC FOUR, PUSH), but has the potential to be a great comedic action hero if given the right material.

Extra Tidbit: I also find it humorous that they’re probably going to CGI Chris Evans’ head onto Jay Baruchel’s body for the “before” Steve Rogers shots,

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