In all of our coverage of Marvel Studios and the development of their upcoming slate of films, there’s been one sticking question commonly found surfacing in our discussions; When the heck will we start hearing some solid info on who would be playing Steve Rogers, the patriotic hero Captain America, in the self-titled solo film coming next summer.

While we still don’t know who the finalists are for the career-defining role, we do have word via Sci Fi Wire that the announcement is coming sooner rather than later. Actually, we’ll likely be finding out in just a few weeks!

My thoughts in recent times were slightly worrisome about the lack of movement on this project, especially when compared to Thor which debuts the same summer (albeit, 2 months earlier). Director Kenneth Branagh not only found his Asgardian star months ago, but filled out the rest of its cast and began filming last month.

According to director of The First Avenger: Captain America Joe Johnston:

“We need to cast it soon… We have a very short list, but we’re still juggling actors here. I’d say within the next couple of weeks we’ll have ourselves a Captain America, I hope.”

Fan desires, rumors and speculation throw out names such as Mark Valley, Neal McDonough, Aaron Eckhart to John Barrowman although there’s nothing concrete on any of these.

Johnston continues to say they’re still aiming to shoot in June in the UK and are heavy into pre-production. A few days back we touched on this topic with snippets from another Joe Johnston interview where he spoke with Film Journal about what style we may expect from the Captain America film. This generated some mixed or slightly concerned reaction as to what creative leaps he may take in adapting Captain America to the big screen.

In the Sci Fi Wire discussion, he shares some more words which partly follow-up on his ideas that Cap fans can dissect in regards to the story:

“It’s the kind of thing where, while I’m not necessarily a comic-book fan, I think the interesting thing about this guy is that he’s a superhero without any superpowers, basically… He is the epitome of human perfection. He can’t fly and throw tanks around and see through walls and things like that, but he’s strong and runs fast.”

“And the interesting thing about this guy is that he starts out as a 98-pound weakling and he becomes this Adonis. How does that affect his arc in the story? How does that affect where he goes and what happens to him and everything?”

I’m pretty good at figuring out what’s what behind-the-scenes with comic book movies but I am constantly back-and-forth on what direction Joe Johnston and Marvel will go with for their selection of the title character. Will it be someone we don’t know like they did with Thor, supporting him with a superstar ensemble cast, or will they go for a bankable star who can sell the film on his own? I don’t know why, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with someone big like them old Leo Dicaprio rumors. Maybe it’s because my girlfriend would die at the thought…

We only know that Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada said months ago that they have a “wishlist” of actors and if that’s the case, I think big names.

Not much time left to play the guessing game so who do you think may play Captain America? Established star or relative unknown?

Don’t forget to join our discussion on what may be the look of Captain America’s movie costume.

Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, Thor opens May 5, 2011 , The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Source: SCI FI Wire (thanks to Corey Anderson for the find)