Joe Johnston Says ‘Captain America’ Will Surprise Fans

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 8:35 am,

captain america comic con banner 570x233 Joe Johnston Says Captain America Will Surprise Fans

When any iconic comic book property heads to the big screen, fans typically track its development with equal measures of excitement and skepticism. That has certainly been the case with Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger - a film that has created divisive (and rather passionate) opinions in regards to its casting, costumes, and production design.

Many have decided to reserve judgment until the trailer debuts, but between all of the concept art and interviews with the cast & crew, there’s enough information out there to at least get a general sense of the film’s tone. I personally find the majority of what we’ve seen to be very encouraging, but I know there are some ardent Cap fans out there who are still on the fence about the movie.

It seems like one of the more controversial decisions Marvel made with Captain America was choosing Joe Johnston to direct the film. The bulk of Johnston’s filmography is comprised of films that are widely regarded as good, but not great. Sometimes his vision is bigger than his budget (The Rocketeer), sometimes it seems like there were too many cooks in the kitchen (Jurassic Park III), and sometimes it’s just an unmitigated disaster (The Wolfman).

Johnston recently spoke quite candidly about making The Wolfman and how different the production of Captain America had been. But would a better experience behind the camera translate into a better film? According to Johnston, the answer is a very enthusiastic yes.

Hero Complex caught up with him a few days after he’d watched the first cut of Captain America and it sounds like he couldn’t be happier with the film:

“I watched the movie for the first time a few days ago and I just looked at the first cut and there is so much entertainment value — it’s just flat-out fun to watch … Maybe I’m somewhat biased — I was there [when we made it] — but, seriously, it’s funny, it’s exciting and there’s great visual effects. The movie is going to be something more than people are expecting. This movie is going to surprise some people. It is the origin story of Captain America but it is also something rare — it’s a period superhero film but there’s great action in it. You don’t normally think of guys driving around in 1939 sedans in an action film but there are some great action beats in it. It’s just a helluva lot of fun to watch.”

captain america joe johnston Joe Johnston Says Captain America Will Surprise Fans

Johnston also singles out leading man Chris Evans and praises his performance as Steve Rogers/Captain America:

“All actors bring something unexpected to the role because they have to translate what’s on the page and make a real character out of the black-and-white text that’s there in the script. I hadn’t worked with Chris Evans and I wasn’t really that familiar with his work and I didn’t know what to expect. I was blown away by the subtlety that he brought to the role. It was really exciting to watch him. He added layers to the character that were not on the page and layers that were not in the comic books. He made Steve Rogers into a real flesh-and-blood character and it was fantastic to watch.”

Granted, most directors aren’t going to make disparaging comments about their own film before it’s released, but Johnston has established himself as someone capable of giving his work an honest assessment. Of course it doesn’t guarantee that Captain America will be a great film, it simply signifies that he’s satisfied with the job he’s done. Since many artists tend to be harder on themselves than even their harshest critics, perhaps that’s saying something. Only time will tell.

Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever truly enjoyed any of Johnston’s films – but I’d love for Captain America to be the one responsible for changing that. I’m really interested to see what direction the film goes in and how the character continues to evolve as part of The Avengers ensemble as well.

Captain America: The First Avenger hits theaters July 22nd, 2011. The Avengers is scheduled for May 4th, 2012.

Source: Hero Complex.

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  1. Yeah, directors don’t normally say anything but good things about their films before the release, but I’m still optimistic. Johnston seems like a cool cat.

    • Same thing I thought.
      Here’s a quote of Johnston just before Wolfman was released: “I don’t think it’s the movie they thought they were going to get and they’re pleasantly surprised with what it is and how it turned out.”
      I suppose a good difference is that he layed the positive remarks on someone else… but I’m always cynical about a director pumping up a film he’s just finished.

  2. Alright, with that said give me a trailer to disect.

  3. I’m sure it’ll be a good movie, I’m waiting to see if it’ll be a great movie. :)

    • eye

    • aye

  4. whether this is a Great, Average, or Bad movie I plan on going to see it.

  5. a rare superhero period piece. Ummm, Rockateer, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Shadow anyone.

    So the entire movie is going to be set during the 30′s and 40′s…. anyone else kind of see this as a turn off?

    • Thats the origin story of the Cap, dude. It has to be in the time to do it justice. Google it.

  6. Joe Johnston is an incredibly boring director. Very vanilla. Wolfman was a horrible film. He’s too stuck in old school film making but isn’t even very skilled at that to say the least.

    Rental… more like Netflix streaming.

    • Wolfman wasnt that bad yall.

    • @ kal-el


      Joe Johnston is far more talented than Bryan Singer who produced a BORING Superman & CRAP X-Men films.

      • Aint the truth…
        Singers action/thriller movies (except Usual Suspect/Apt Pupil, but thats more because of the cast ensemble..) are realy, realy boring…some cool setpieces but the rest is uninteresting hero’s talking about mundane stuff.

        I had 10 times more fun with The Wolfman than with X-dudes or Superman Regurge.

        • Aint “that” the truth….
          damn non typing skills….

        • @ Samplelord

          I’ve still got an old VHS copy of “Usual Suspects”. :-)

          Yeah I didn’t mind “The Wolfman” and “The Rocketeer” is simply classic stuff.

          As for Bryan Singer, I hope to never see another super hero film by him again.

      • Well, I disagree about SR but do totally agree about the XMen movies. they were dull.

        • @ DSB

          Other than the airplane scene, I don’t really recall much more action. Maybe I need to pull out the DVD again.

          I also felt that Superman should have been portrayed as more heroic, manly, stronger personality…..I don’t know. You know more about the character than I do since I’m more of a MARVEL dude. :-)

          I’ve only just recently picked up a Superman graphic novel. “Earth One”. Haven’t read it yet. :-)

          • Earth One is great. Apart from the photographic image copy used for Lois Lane, they actually took screen shots of an actress from a television show and copied them directly on to the page.

      • Crap Xfilms?

        Xmen one was good and X2 was one of the best comic films to date. It was a fantastic movie.

        I agree on Superman that sucked, but the Xfilms that Singer did were great only X3 was awful and Ratner did that one.

    • I thought Wolfman was a rather solid film. After all these so called glorified super hero version of werewolves and vampires, I like the fact he took back to being a curse rather than a gift. I won’t lie I find the hero version films cool but just a little oversaturated.

      The Wolfman pacing was slow but I liked the old school style filming that was use,enhanced by the more modern visuals and the kills were great.

      Being that this director has experience doing movies in past time settings, it makes sense for him to give a shot at making an Cap film in his original settings which was in the 40′s.

      • Greed. The best thing about The Wolfman was that it felt like an old film, not just the styling or the visuals, but the tone and feel of the direction made into an updated classic horror film.

        • Truly..

          • Yup, I’m one of the few reviewers out there who actually really enjoyed Johnston’s The Wolfman for the reasons you’ve given.


            • Vic, I have to ask, what are your thoughts on The Rocketeer?

              • DSM,

                I’m a fan of The Rocketeer.


                • That’s all I wanted to know. :)

                  • Drsam I don’t hate Rocketeer I think it’s certainly Joe’s best film, but for me it’s only just OK.

                    I’ve always viewed it as a sort of unintentional kids film. It looked like he was trying to do something more, but it was just a fun kids movie.

                    The fact that my first viewing of it ever was on the Disney Channel says it all to me. As a kid I did like it, but as an adult it’s just ok.

  7. Joe Johnston had Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in Wolfman, both far superior actors than Chris Evans, and he couldn’t get decent performances out of them. Johnston is just tooting his own horn and trying to sell his crap film. Time to retire. I’m not paying to see this film. Pass.

    Go watch Man From Nowhere. Excellent film especially for a small budget.

  8. lets just hope marvel have the since to let him have freedom to be a good drctor and not mess up and push too hard like wiht Xmen or the last two spidey movies

  9. Seriously, I liked The Wolfman!

    • I saw it in the theater wasn’t bad at all, Weaving was great.

      • Yeah, Weaving owned that movie. And he obviously liked working with Johnston, immediately making another movie with him.

        • I liked it too, and I like the ending

  10. When is the trailer coming out? Anyone know?

    • Not sure about the trailer, but I heard a TV spot will be shown during the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

      • Another reason to watch the Superbowl tho I wont be going for any of the teams

  11. i simply love captain america. he has got to be one the best heros there is. i cant wait for the movie. im glad to hear that the director is extremely optimistic about it. i have no doubt that this movie will be great. it will still recieve alot of critisim because some people are to critical that nothing makes them happy and that would suck to be honest. i appreciate the hard work that people put into there craft. some things are just not the best and thats ok.

  12. You didn’t like the rocketeer? I remember seeing it in the theater when I was like 7 and it blowing my mind. Jennifer Connely, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton that’s a friggin cast I can get behind. Bill Campbells no slouch. (Though I had to look up his name)

    • The Rocketeer was pure awesomeness!!!!!

    • There are not words to describe how unbelievably cool the Rocketeer is!!! It’s up there with Indy and Star Wars for me. Everything about it us all kinds of brilliant.
      Great acting (amazing cast). Great story. Cool effects. Absolutely brilliant soundtrack. They don’t make movies like that anymore.

    • I think the term ‘timeless classic’ is overused many times but in the case of The Rocketeer, it accurately applies. Not only did it capture the era, it was just a great adventure for all ages. I’ve never figured out why so many people are dismissive of this movie.

      • Because they dont want to admit that its awesome, I love that film. I have been wanting the mask and jetpack and all since I have seen it.

        • I always thought it would be an awesome Halloween costume.

          • That’s unreal. :-) I want one, but at almost $6,000 :-(

            • I know it’s crazy money, but so very cool. The jacket is brilliant, tempted to actually get one of those!

      • Yeah, it is a classic, but gets zero recognition. Its a great family film, I recently sent my little brothers a copy, they are aged between 7-10 and they absolutely loved it.
        I too have never figured out why people are dismissive of it, it is a fantastic, fun adventure that anyone can watch. The whole set up of it is brilliant, and any film with Timothy Dalton gets an extra mark from me, the guy was great. Still is.
        The Rocketeer is, simply put, great. And Johnston did a great job on that, I always saw him as someone to take over the Indiana Jones franchise after Last Crusade, for me, him directing Captain America is a reason to see the film, not a deterent.

        • Im not sure that it gets dismissed , mainly cause you ask anyone who has seen it, and everyone says they loved taht movie. I think it was a great movie , and it is still today one of my favorite Movie posters, which I spent a long time trying to get an original movie one sheet for it. The Poster is a beautiful pc, of movie art.

          • Strangely I was just looking at the posters earlier, the artwork posters are brilliant, but also check out the Japanese posters, they are also excellent.
            I think, not enough people are aware of the film.

  13. Anyone else notice how carefully he choose his lines?

    “I watched the movie for the first time a few days ago and I just looked at the first cut and there is so much entertainment value — it’s just flat-out fun to watch … Maybe I’m somewhat biased — I was there [when we made it] — but, seriously, it’s funny, it’s exciting and there’s great visual effects.”

    He praises the visual effects, the action, entertainment value,and it’s just flat out fun?

    So should we expect something along the lines of Transformers? Mindless action flick? That’s how he seems to be making it sound. Not one mention of the great story.

    • There are no giant transforming robots so I am not expecting anything like Transformers..I’m expecting a great film with great replay value that will get people pumped to see more of Cap in the Avengers.

      • OH come on GK you know I wasn’t saying there were gonna be giant robots.

        I clarified exactly what I meant by saying like transformers when I said a mindless action flick. Especially when he says things like it will be fun and it has great visual effects and purposely avoids saying anything about the story.

        • Well Transformers have been around for a long time…and the Avengers teamed up with the Autobots once…lol just jokin, I know what you meant Daniel but I dont think it will be a mindless action flick, but idk so I cant say

          • I took Mr. Johnston’s quote in the context that he’s addressing points that have been sore spots for other films. Check any thread here and you’ll likely find someone complaining about effects, being too dull, too dark, not funny enough, etc. To me, it felt like he was saying that he’s aware of the concerns and trying to reassure people.

    • I agree about the word choice. I noticed it too.

    • I think he is very clearly saying its a well rounded movie and it is well balanced. That would cover everything from acting to story line

  14. “I can’t say I’ve ever truly enjoyed any of Johnston’s films.” No love for Jumanji? :(

  15. Did everyone know (those who are having a go at Johnston) that he designed both Boba Fett’s final look and the Predator?

  16. Cool. Really looking forward to this movie.

  17. This is my favorite Quote.

    “You don’t normally think of guys driving around in 1939 sedans in an action film but there are some great action beats in it. It’s just a helluva lot of fun to watch.”

    Ummmmm….. Indiana Jones? Can I get a Hallelujah?

  18. Listen……If the guy can freely admit that the Wolfman sucked (and it wasn’t really his fault but was willing to take the blame) then I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. So if he says, “it’s just flat-out fun to watch” I believe him.

    • (or at least I believe he believes it ;)

  19. I love Captain America, I have longed like so many to see caps in a motion picture. Im dying to see the trailer its going to be a very exciting to even see the trailer. I have longed so long ever since I saw Batman with Tim Burton, I have tried to envision what caps would look like and now this year we are all going to get to see this. Its been a very long time coming I really hope its turns out good. Theres allot of us waiting so eagerly that even the trailer is enough to be excited about and it could not come any sooner.

    I hope the soundtrack is good and strong too , does anyone know who is doing the soundtrack,, I love sound tracks their one of those things that does it for me in films. Then again it depends sometimes its later on that i dig the soundtrack to a flick than sometimes instantly. So I have great hopes on this one