These last few days have seen the internet do a madness over the casting process for Joe Johnston’s Captain America. A list of potential candidates was doing the rounds, that list was apparently cut down, and then John Krasinski was supposedly on the verge of being announced for the part.

The situation has been revealed to be less clear cut. Was Krasinski in, only to be turfed out due to the bad reaction from movie writers? More names have been mentioned, and despite a supposed deadline that was set for casting  having now passed, we are seemingly no closer to a final decision. (You can find our story here).

I think we’ve heard far too much about the process so far. We don’t know for certain what was merely speculation, what was truth and what, if anything, was completely made up to draw hits.

Assuming the list of potential candidates was authentic, i have a severe problem with the way this project seems to be heading. Captain America is a superhero, and a well known one at that. He is a powerful character, and has a rich comic book history. In my opinion, the calibre of ‘stars’ linked with the part so far has been inadequate at best. I don’t mean to insult the actors in question, though i probably have, but if you are casting such a strong, well loved character, i think you need to set your sights a little higher. If the producers and director were looking for an unknown actor, with all the right attributes for the part, i would understand and be happy with that. But that’s not what they are doing.

The reasons for the lacklustre list are obvious. The actors are fairly low profile, and as such will not command huge fees. There is a global recession on, and film companies along with everyone else are looking to maximise their profits. They have clearly drawn up a list of people who have shown a certain standard of ability, and have a fairly generic, handsome look. And in truth, if it was a stand alone series of films, that might not be quite so bad. The men in the frame are all decent actors, with the right look for the part. Any one of them would do a reasonable job. The big issue becomes clear, however, when you look at the broader picture.

An Avengers movie is in the works. No secret has been made of that, and it is an admirable, ambitious attempt. Build up a number of characters, establish them in the mythos, and then combine them  in one big story. For this to work, the actors involved have to be able to stand together, in character, on a level footing. But with great actors like Robert Downey Jr, Edward Norton and Samuel L Jackson already set in place, if you put them alongside an actor that doesn’t share the same level of experience, personality and screen presence, that character isn’t going to look quite so super.

You can’t put together a team of superheroes made up of several highly talented a-listers, and a couple of serviceable actors. It isn’t going to work. You might get lucky, and find one next big star. I think Chris Hemsworth as Thor will probably be able to hold his own, though only just. But a half-hearted attempt at Captain America will make a failure of the whole exercise. You might get lucky once, but twice is too much to hope for.

Yesterday, Chris Evans’ name was thrown into the equation. This is a step forward. I think Evans is very underrated, and has been unlucky not to have been given the right parts to show what he can really do. He’d be able to stand alongside the actors already in place, and not end up looking like a lost little boy. For that reason, he is a good choice, though i personally hope he doesn’t get the gig. According to reports, a nine picture deal is part of the contract. That’s at least ten years away from any other parts if it comes to fruition. As i said, i like Evans, and i want to see him in interesting parts, not trapped in one character for a large part of his career.

This nine picture deal is clearly one of the main sticking points. There were serious problems finding a big star for the Superman project several years ago, because no-one with the right size of profile was willing to commit to three pictures. Imagine that difficulty tripled, and you can start to see why we are seeing the names that have been bandied about to date.

I think trying to put together a Captain America on the cheap, with such a limiting contract, is a mistake, and a slap in the face to Captain America fans. The movie is looking more like a means to an end, the Avengers movie, than it is a serious attempt at making the Captain America movie that the property deserves. Whoever does finally get the nod, i wish them luck. It looks like it’s going to be a hard road, and the delicate house of cards looks liable to fall down at some point in the near future.

 Bazmann – You can follow me on Twitter at