"Cast Off: Captain America Winner: Mark Valley"|
by Matt Brady |
Newsarama.com, November 21, 2008
Has Newsarama found Marvel's next superhero icon for film?
With Joe Johnston named as director of First Avenger: Captain America and
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely named as writers, we wanted to know who
Newsarama readers think should play Captain America on the big screen.
The call for actors was put out, the field was narrowed to three, and the votes
With over 200 votes in, Newsarama readers have selected Mark Valley as
Firefly’s Nathan Fillion came in second, with Aaron Eckhart rounding out the
Among readers who voted for Valley, many cited the actor’s physical similarity
to Steve Rogers as well as the fact that he is a veteran, having served in
Operation Desert Storm. Valley currently appears as Agent John Scott in Fox’s
Fringe, but if Newsarama readers are any indication, his acting in Keen Eddie
and Boston Legal put him on the radar of many fans as a possible Captain
To be fair, many respondents did point out Valley’s age (he’ll be 44 on December
24th), and suggested that would disqualify him for the role. According to
Captain America’s origin story, Steve Rogers is a scrawny teenager who is turned
down when he volunteers to join the Army after the attack on Pear Harbor. Rogers
is given the Super-Soldier Formula, and sees action in costume in his early to
mid ‘20s before being frozen in ice at the end of World War II. Captain America
is then thawed by the Avengers in the present day.
In some respects, it's a valid point but, as current Supergirl artist Jamal Igle
pointed out, one that’s easily gotten around. “In the comics Steve Rogers was an
18-21 year old in the 1940's,” Igle wrote. “I think it would make sense if
someone who was older, like Valley played the role. You could have Steve Rogers
be a 40 year old artist in the 1940's who wanted to serve his country but was
4-f and thought to be too old to serve, now I know it's true there were plenty
of older guys who were drafted during WW2 but for the sake of the story it could
work. So once he was unfrozen in an Avengers movie, he would have the weight of
age and wisdom on his side as well.”
Proponents for an older Captain America pointed to the screen version of Iron
Man – Robert Downey Jr., who appeared as Tony Stark in this year’s Iron Man film
at 42, and will be 45 by the time Avengers hits screens. Having a savvy,
slightly cynical mature Tony Stark look upon a twentysomething “CW”/heartthrob
Captain America as an equal, as some fans pointed out, could be a stretch.
And besides, 40 is the new 30. Or 25.
Winner aside, the entire process brought out some interesting theories and
comments from fans, most notably that, if Eckhart and Fillion appear in super
hero movies down the road, the would prefer that Eckhart remain as Two-Face from
The Dark Knight and Fillion be cast as Hal Jordan in a possible Green Lantern
Other actors who received a number of votes (but didn’t make the top 3 choices)
included: Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Jason Ackles, Matthew McConaughey, Ryan
McPartlin, Paul Walker, Justin Hartley and Neal McDonough. While not garnering
many votes at all, Howie Long, Jamie Bamber, and Will Smith were also perfect
for the role in the minds of some.
Another strong theme of voting was that producers of First Avenger: Captain
America cast a relative or complete unknown in the role of Steve Rogers,
something akin to casting Christopher Reeve in Superman: The Movie. One reader
suggested that the lead actor be found through an open casting call among the US
Marvel Studios has made no indication of when a Captain America will be named,
though with a director and writers on the project and a release date set (May 6,
2011), it’s anticipated that word will come soon of who will wear the red, white
and blue for Marvel.
And finally, Stephen Colbert received two write-in votes even on the final
polling. As one fan put it: "He already has Cap's shield."
Newsarama's next Cast Off, this time looking for Newsarama's film Wonder Woman
will kick off this afternoon.
"The Final Three Captain America Contenders: Who Do You Pick?" by Matt Brady