"Cast Off: Captain America Winner: Mark Valley"

by Matt Brady | Newsarama.com, November 21, 2008

Mark Valley: I've been wearing Captain America costume on weekends

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 were cast.

With over 200 votes in, Newsarama readers have selected Mark Valley as Captain America.

Firefly’s Nathan Fillion came in second, with Aaron Eckhart rounding out the lineup.

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 America.

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 movie.

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 military.

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.

Source: http://www.newsarama.com/film/110821-Vell-Cap.html

Also see:
"The Final Three Captain America Contenders: Who Do You Pick?" by Matt Brady | Newsarama.com


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