Joe Johnston Talks ‘Captain America’; Official Red Skull Image Revealed [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 7th, 2011 at 8:38 am,

captain america movie cast villain red skull Joe Johnston Talks Captain America; Official Red Skull Image Revealed [Updated]

[UPDATE: Check Out a Hi-Res Version of The Red Skull!]

From the earliest stages of development, Captain America: The First Avenger encountered a maelstrom of skepticism from devout fans of the source material. The two biggest points of contention seemed to be Marvel hiring Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, The Wolfman) to direct the film and the decision to cast Chris Evans in the titlular role.

Back in January, Johnston viewed a rough cut of Captain America and assured fans that they would be “pleasantly surprised” by it. Of course, many were quick to note how unusual it would be for a filmmaker to trash his own work. Alas, Johnston’s comments did little to ease any prevailing concerns.

Then we got our first look at Captain America: The First Avenger thanks to its impressive Super Bowl trailer. After its debut, even a few of the film’s most vocal detractors did an about-face and were forced to admit it had potential. Not long after, Evans described the difficulty of giving fans what they want while simultaneously putting your own stamp on the material – a factor which typically makes or breaks a comic book movie.

Evans had clearly done his homework, but it’s just as vital that the man behind the camera is similarly invested in the mythology. Only time will tell if Johnston’s film is as good as he says it is, but one thing’s for certain – he’s talking a good game. He recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly and made some pretty encouraging remarks about what drew him to the Captain America character:

The thing that appeals to me is he is everyman. He’s a 98-pound weakling. All he really wants to do is the right thing and serve his country and [at first] nobody wants him because he’s too weak. He’s been picked on all his life. But he’s a guy who never gives up. That’s his trademark … I’ve had other offers for movies like this and usually turned them down. To me there’s something less interesting about a guy who can fly, and throw tanks around, and stuff like that. The reason I wanted to do this one is he is so relatable. I can relate to him. Maybe it’s every kid’s dream to go into a pod and come out looking like Captain America.

Johnston goes on to discuss Captain America being marketed simply as The First Avenger internationally and also reveals how his film connects to The Avengers. But first – check out EW’s official image of Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull. The brief glimpse we caught of him in the Super Bowl spot was definitely one of the trailer’s standout moments – and now you can see the full costume.


Captain America Movie Red Skull High Resolution 570x674 Joe Johnston Talks Captain America; Official Red Skull Image Revealed [Updated]

There will always be naysayers, but I think this looks pretty good. Weaving is an immensely talented actor and this role seems like it may allow him to really chew on the scenery.

As for Captain America‘s title change overseas, Johnston doesn’t agree with the decision and insists that the film is no danger of being perceived as political propaganda:

If it were up to me I wouldn’t thread the needle so carefully. I’d call it Captain America, since that’s what it is … He was created as propaganda tool, but he soon became much more than that. There are all these incarnations over the decades, but the film is not a flag waver. It’s about a guy who wants to do the right thing, and that transcends all nationalities and borders. He’s going to do the right thing no matter what flag is on his chest.

Marvel’s interconnected movie universe has obviously been building towards The Avengers and while fans are dying to see how that pays off, many are concerned that the constant foreshadowing might continue to compromise certain aspects of these characters’ solo outings. But let’s ignite the Iron Man 2 debate yet again – Johnston says that simply won’t be an issue with Captain America:

Because this was a period film, because this was the origin story, I didn’t have to worry about the Avengers which was a present day story. We have present-day bookends and bring Cap back at the end and then I basically hand him off. And The Avengers is its own thing.

avengers thor captain america iron man Joe Johnston Talks Captain America; Official Red Skull Image Revealed [Updated]

He also says that he’s looking forward to The Avengers as much as anyone else and theorizes that the clash of all those different characters will make for an intriguing film:

The fact that they are all so different is what will make it exciting. You bring these elements together and they all have different outlooks and come from different worlds. I think there is an opportunity for conflict within the group. There’s gotta be. It’s not the Boy Scouts. [Laughs] There’s going to be rivalry and certain amount of infighting and conflict. Like I say I’m going to be there as an audience member like anybody else.

Check out the full interview over at EW – which includes a brief  (but amusing) explanation regarding Marvel’s thoughts on their previous attempt at a Captain America movie back in 1990.

Johnston’s resume includes more misses than hits, but it does sound like he has a fundamental understanding of the Captain America character and the universe he inhabits. However, I’ll admit that I’ve moved from being completely dismissive about the film to feeling cautiously optimistic. Here’s hoping we all enjoy Captain America as much as Johnston thinks we will.

Captain America: The First Avenger hits theaters on July 22, 2011.

Source: EW.

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  1. Ok I’ll be the sole pessimistic voice. The overly bright red cartoon head of that EW cover shot of Red Skull combined with the cheesey Bruce Willis one liners from the trailer arent boding well.

    The vibes Im getting now are an amalgamation of Fantastic Four, Resident Evil 4, and worriedly a Greengrass style of action sequences. Heck, even the director toned down USA patriotism in the storyline as to make it more palatable for international box office dollars. UGGG!

    Please dont let this turn out to be garbage……crosses fingers.

    • Maybe he toned down the USA patriotism because the rest of the world views America differently to the it sees itself? Remember they have to sell this film to the entire world not just the USA.

      • “Remember they have to sell this film to the entire world not just the USA.”
        That’s what I said DSB.

        The diluted patriotic atmosphere is a let-down. It strikes a nerve with me. If there’s ever a case where we in the US should totally allow our love and patriotism shine through a classic story (comic book or not), should absolutely be in Captain America.

        I frankly dont care what the rest of the world thinks when their views are constantly trying to diminish what is great about my country. If they dont like the US maybe they should make their own Captain United Nations movie where the protagonist asks everyone for permission to confront evil doers armed with bean bags and mace.

        • And on a positive note, no matter how bad this movie ends up sucking (which Im crossing my fingers it does not), the one performance guaranteed to be top notch is from Hugo Weaving – who is ironically a Nigerian Brit..

        • “I frankly dont care what the rest of the world thinks when their views are constantly trying to diminish what is great about my country.”

          Im honestly not sure that is the right attitude. Maybe there is a reason that US patriotism isnt viewed in the same way anymore.

          I’m from the UK, and I have been to the USA many times, and plan to return this year, I have never been to a friendlier or more welcoming place than the US, but there is no denying that the global view of the USA has changed greatly in the past 10-15 years.

          There are many great things about your country (and that’s why I want to move there), but it has changed a lot.

          • So does the UK have to ask permission from the USA or the rest of the world before it does anything? Every country has to do what they have to do for the best of their country. Honestly, there isn’t a country in the world that really “cares” what the rest of the world thinks of them, they might try to appear to but it’s ultimately for its own benefit. But all of a sudden when it comes to the USA, we need to be overly concerned over what the rest of the world thinks otherwise we’re “elitists,” “isolationist,” or whatever other ridiculous accusation you people would want to think up to make yourselves sound more intellectual.

            Facts are facts, the USA rose to our position faster than any other country still considered a super power in the world. I’m not surprised people have a problem with that. Call it intimidation, call it jealousy, it really doesn’t matter. Most of this hatred is not even logical. We sacrifice more of our resources (whether in the form of food, money, etc.) to other countries than any other country in the world, but instead of being grateful, people complain that we’re still not giving “enough.” No matter what we’ll be judged through a biased lens and because of that, everything we do will be “wrong” to the rest of the world. I’m sorry, but we need to stop WASTING our time trying to please people who will never be pleased until we’re the poorest and weakest nation in the world (don’t worry, at this rate we’re getting there, and it’s thanks to policies our government has enacted to try to be more like the Europeans…).

            Perfect example, to make it more on a personal level and not on a global level, my girlfriend was promoted from being a teacher at a school to being the principal of that school, and that’s within the first 6 months of becoming a full-time teacher. And she’s only 25. That’s because something happened and the position opened up unexpectedly and they needed someone to fill the role and my girlfriend was the only teacher at that school who was ambitious enough to be going to school to get her Masters in Educational Leadership. So even though she hasn’t received her Masters in that yet, she was still the most qualified out of everyone. All of a sudden, a lot of the teachers that were acting like they were her best friends, became these bitter jealous cry-babies, just because she was promoted and they were not. I’m sorry, but she was ambitious enough to be going for her Masters while none of the other teachers were, so too bad so sad, if you want to get ahead, you have to set yourself apart from the herd, not try to be like everyone else.

            Anyway, I guess I shut up now, rant over, lol. :-P

        • Ha! i agree with you 100% netshark,well said

        • “… i don’t care what the rest of the world thinks…”

          therein lies the problem. this isolationist and elitist attitude is the source of the troubles. It’s about time america as a whole started caring.

          • Pitt Man

            That was the point I was trying to make.

            • We already give too much thought and pander to nations and cultures that absolutely do not reciprocate.

              You can pull one partial sentence out of context, but you miss the point, and Im sure it’s intentional.

          • Isolationist? you jest.

            we’re either butting our nose in too much, or interfering, or we’re not doing enough for everyone else.

            if the USA were to truly be isolationist, there would be no mistaking it. Something for you to chew on and reflect.

            • your defensive posturing only proves my point further.

              • I’ll let you hang on your last statement Pitt. You raised your white flag quicker than I expected.

          • Pitt Man,

            Name me ONE country that donates more money to other countries. Or one that comes even remotely close.

            And isolationist? We’re constantly accused of exactly the opposite.

            Personally, I could go for a little isolationism (is that a word?) at this point.


            • Maybe that´s because America isn´t just a country, it´s a whole continent.

            • Maybe he meant more a general xenophobia than isolationalist.

              • Since our nation is comprised of people from different regions of the world, what you are saying is that each of those other nations and cultures exhibit forms of xenophobia and it’s merely immigrated here with them, no?

            • I’m not generalizing Vic.

              and I never said anything about donations. I think the “world’s superpower” has certain responsibilities to the rest of the planet. I was simply responding to Netsharks’ comment.

              I just read “The Post American world” by Fareed Zakaria and if anyone here is confused or offended by the term “isolationist” that book should clarify things.

              Myself, I’m from Newfoundland. Technically that’s a part of Canada but many here don’t have any loyalty to the “canadian empire” Canada has been bleeding Newfoundland’s resources since we joined that country. We have a very nationalistic identity, so I understand patriotism. (up until 60 years ago we were independent) I’m a Newfoundlander first and foremost, (I don’t think of myself as canadian) and as good as everyone thinks Canada is, it’s not. It’s every bit as elitist and corrupt as some aspects of the American government. In some ways I respect Americans more than Canadians because they where their nation on their sleeve.

              The truth is however, America is broke, and it needs some mending. Mind, its only my opinion.

              • Pitt Man,

                No worries, and I only brought up the contributions thing in response to “It’s about time america as a whole started caring.”

                I think we’re “broke” both figuratively and literally (money-wise) and agree the country needs fixing. Of course where the problem lies is that there are two completely opposite schools of thought on how to fix it – only one of them can be right.



                This thread is a great example of the issues this movie faces as far as trying to strike a balance that will work for not only U.S. audiences but international audiences as well. I almost think there should be two “cuts” of the film. 8)

                • I agree, it’s great to see such polarized but important dialogue spawned from… a super hero movie? only Captain America could do this, that’s what makes cap so relavant now.

            • Here’s my thoughts on this , I come from a family of soldiers and cops, I am very proud to be an American. I was born in Boston and lived for over a decade in Detroit, I now live in Florida. I have seen a great many things in my travels and one thing that I ‘ve seen no matter where I go is that the world is populated by people, (Human Being) we for most parts. I have Irish, Italian, English in me , my son has Phillipeno and German in him, however we are americans, but first and formost we are Human beings, my son’s mother is remarried and his step father is Muslim, I was raised Chatolic, I also believe that organized religon is the root of all evil how ever I dont think it makes one evil to have faith. I try to teach my son no matter what relgion he chooses to follow or if he chooses to follow none of them thats ok and no matter what others choose it doesnt matter , we treat everyone with respect because we are intelligent people and not animals. We dont start fights EVER but we will finish them. Like said I am proud of who I am and to be an American , but honestly we have to get to the Star Trek Era and we need to do it soon , before it is to late, Im sure some of you laughed at the Star Trek era , and what I mean by that is. in their time they are One planet and not one nation. Think of what we could accomplish is we were One Planet together.

              • I know exactly what you mean with Star Trek era. And I agree about the religion thing. There were (and still are) more wars in the name of religion that any other cause.

                But I still wonder how this movie will do in Germany.

                • Depends on how many Nazis are still around.

                  Scape – I kind of put it in this context, let me know if I am off base because obviously I don’t live in Germany. I would think German citizens view that time of their past much like Americans view the time of slavery – a horrible, big and undeniable mistake. But a movie about that mistake, in America IMO, doesn’t mean it will bomb at the box office on the subject alone. I would ask if Germans may feel the same.

                  • Ink, that was not what I meant. Captain America isn´t as popular as let´s say Batman or Spider-Man.
                    I don´t worry about Nazis appearing in this movie. Actually I´d be disappointed if there aren´t any.

              • The very absolute, LAST thing I want to see is “one world government” – although it seems things are being pushed in that direction.

                “organized religon is the root of all evil”

                Really. How many people have been murdered or tortured due to organized religion compared to those murdered by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.?


                • In order for one world government to come to fruition, the United States would have to cease to exist. Therefore, I pray it never happens.

                  Now on the Star Trek thing, I could see a planetary defense alliance or space exploratory alliance in the future and I would have no problem with that. But the way it seems most countries feel about the U.S. I would say for this to come, our Republic, and it’s freedoms, would need to be eliminated.

                  • I think all of you guys have proven WHY the studio decided to tone down the story and change the title for overseas markets. People are way too political these days. Not saying thats a bad thing, it is what it is. But with all the political instability in the WORLD the studio wants to avoid some of the negativity. Let it go.

                • Vic for president! I mean you make a lot of sense. I dont see that much.

                • actually the romans and the catholic never counted how many tens of thousands that they murdered,Oh and then there where the Crusades that they never where able to get a figure as to how mqany were killed. then of course the inquistion that was responsible for over 125000 dead and your right about the Nazi they persecuted and murdered people because they were Jewish

                  • Loco Lobo, That problem is not with religion. note that your examples all include the mixture of religion AND government. That combination leads to corruption (frankly, anything mixed with government leads to corruption). At that time the Catholic Church essentially had absolute rule over Europe. Same problem with the muslim rule in the Middle East. The current regime in Iran is an excellent example of that problem. That is the true point of Jefferson’s phrase “separation of church and state” (a phrase, which for the record, is not in the Constitution, but in a letter to concerned baptists).

                  • Yeah see here’s the funny thing – for examples of extreme violence and murder from the Christian/Catholic side you have to go back hundreds or thousands of years. That argument is tiresome. You go back much less time for the examples I’ve mentioned. I see you ignored Stalin and Mao, who were responsible for MILLIONS of deaths, not to mention Hitler, of course.



                • Crusades, Spanish Inquesition, Reconquista, Muslim Conqests, heck even nowadays there is Ireland and Jerusilim… just google holy wars and you will see a ton of examples… Not saying god is bad or anything, but more people have died in his name then for any other reason…

                  But really guys, America is seen by the rest of the world as bullys, how is it gonna look if we make a movie called Captian America? I think that they may view us as egomaniacs as well…

                  I dont like to be viewed that way, but I cant change everyones mind… And Vic, we have given more money to other countries then any other nation, but in the entire USA history we had more wars then the Roman Empire? And they didnt just last 300 years, they lasted 1000 years (arguably)…

                  With that being said, I hope that this movie is great and does well over seas…

                  • Brandon,

                    Just because the Roman Empire didn’t have many “wars” doesn’t mean they didn’t conquer a lot of other lands. You think the expansion of the Roman Empire was all benevolent?

                    Anyway, I’m done chatting about this with you folks – I will say considering the topic it’s been remarkably civil, and I appreciate that.


                  • Ireland and Israel i mean, my bad…

            • agreed. i have been saying we should go back to a roosevelt like state, isolationistic state, develop national plans to fix our own problems and let the rest of the world worry about their own problems for a while. walk softly and carry a very large stick.

              and for the record, this is captain america. screw the rest of the world’s opinion. like a team having a bad few seasons, we will get thru this. like any other country has something to say. really. germany? i’ll not bother to speak. england?!? you colonized half the planet. russia? you did the same in asia. africa?!? don’t get me started with your problems. france? they can’t keep their own country together. China? Japan? riiiiiighhhhht. check on those crimes of war. i’m sick and tired of the USA being given crap when our issues are barely of concern in comparison. whah, someone stole your torrah in prison and took a picture of you in a compromising position. wah, we have a detention facility and use an extremely mild form of torture. gimme a break. it’s not like there is any experimentation on prisoners like some (cough, china, germany, japan..)

              son’t get me wrong, i love all cultures and experiencing the differences, and all countries have great things about them but there isn’t a country in europe or asia who hasn’t murdered and territorialized in a fashion dwarfing the exploits of the USA. i also agree with the cleaning up the US’s poop when it needs it, but the unabashed american guilt that the media and “intellectuals” (read: eggheads who have no basis in the reality of life) has put this country into is ludicrous.

              i might listen to what switzerland has to say, perhaps.

              back to the real topic, i’m not so pleased with the skull. it’s a MASK, this is the one time when the face they have given ben grimm would actually work! it should be a bulky, and look like it was cut from stone. the red skull was not like ghost rider.

              i also question the actor, the skull needs to be brutal and singular of purpose with an exuding personality that gives a man pause. even cap should have to rally himself up to defeat him.

              the clues given for this movie give ME pause. i’m excited anyway and won’t let it be dashed until it is by the actual movie. in the future i want to see the whole zemo, red skull plot to brainwash and kill captain america by making him relive bucky’s death! that was suuuuuch a great story arc. perfect for a movie, nazis, rockets, sinister plots, hero overcoming at the last second to fix it……

        • Touche’

        • I totally agree. Obama has torn this country down enough. Captain America kick Obama’s ass!

          • Let’s tone down the “violent rhetoric” shall we? 8)



      • The rest of the world does see the US *very* differently from the way elitist media and university professors do.

        I lived in communist China for several years, and you know what? The Chinese people LOVE the USA. In my much briefer travels elsewhere, I’ve found that sentiment is shared widely around the globe. As long as you’re talking to average people and not “intellectuals” and avowed socialists, the US is seen as a wonderful place, a country and a people and an ideal that is admired.

  2. Citizens here go out of their way to try and understand the mindset of those around the world. Unfortunately it is not reciprocated.

    If anything, the US has diminished it’s own standing by kowtowing to dictators, thugs, communists, socialists, and electing a Marxist (which one would think make us more loved by the Europeans at least)

    I believe patriotism, pride, and love for our unique republic, has been sliding downhill ever since the 60′s – which has went hand in hand with the ever sliding lack of respect the rest of the world shows us.

    Anyway, about the movie, Im just having a hard time overlooking the few bad signs, which are glaring. I’m surprised there are so many jumping on the band wagon so fervently. Odd.

    • The movie should remain Captian America even over seas. It is what it is. I HATE it when this country gives in to political correctness. Dispite everyone saying our country sucks, and it does on occasion, it’s still the best country in the world, and I feel lucky to have been born here! On another note, I want to see what Caps suit will look like in the Avengers? It looks good for the time period.

    • The US kowtows to dictators when it is in the interest of big corporations. Our interference in Latin & South America in the 60′s and 70′s by the Dulles brothers to ensure bigger corporate profits for US based multinationals is something you should look at.

      Even the whole Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have racked up major profits for multinationals.

      US foreign policy has been directed by big business since we installed the Shah of Iran back in the 50′s.

      • Big business is such a dirty word. lol

  3. the red skull looks excellent! but joe johnston did say they were going to put their spin on it and evans reaffirmed that which makes me doubt this movie. CAP is my favorite hero, but i still feel that this franchise got a director and an actor who need this franchise more then it needs them. in the comic book CAP is the cool mature hero, they should have gotten someone who can go toe to toe with robert downey jr’s acting chops.
    if no one believes me read the civil war “THE CONFESSION”. and if anyone thinks EVANS can manup to DOWNEY JR like in that story, you need to be placed before a firing squad….

  4. I am proud to be an American. I am thankful to have been born in a country that values freedom and, at least for the most part, allows its citizens that liberty. I get so freakin’ mad when other countries – that we help both monetarily and with humanitarian aid – tell us how much they hate us. Well, guess what stop asking for our help. Our food, our military our lives. I am not an isolationist.

    I enjoy helping other countries, but only those who appreciate it and reciprocate in some way, either with diplomatic favor or a place to set up base of operations. Hell, even a freakin’ “thank you” would be great.

    The war in Iraq was not technically for oil. We helped free them from a monster and how did they reward us for our loss in human sacrifice and money? Buy awarding the Chinese with all the initial oil contracts coming out of Iraq. WTF? Where’s the thanks by the newly formed government? We weren’t asking for anything free, just contracts to buy there oil.

    Rant over, I need a nap to calm down.

    • @ INK: It’s not just the oil. There’s a lot of infrastructure, supplies, building, and commercial deals that went down when Saddam was ousted.

      I love my country, but I love my country enough that when it behaves like a naughty puppy and poops on the floor, I try to do something about it.

  5. I think they should of kept the name Captain America internationally because im a proud AMERICAN I love my country and serve my country got another 13 years to go. Ive been to other countries we have more liberties here then any other country in the world.

    • I agree and thank you for your service.

  6. Joe Johnston also directed Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Hidalgo anf The Rocketeer.

  7. MAn It be aweome be on TV.I be in my own Movie Superheros. Funny COnficks Actions NO killing of Heros.