Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has compared Chris Evan’s performance as Captain America to Christopher Reeve’s iconic portrayal of Superman. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought some of the most iconic superheroes from Marvel Comics to the big screen, and while some of them already had film adaptations before (such as Captain America in 1990 and the Hulk in three TV movies back in the 1980s), these new versions have gained the approval of the most hardcore Marvel fans out there.
Superhero films and TV shows have been around for a while but they have gone through a major boost in these last years thanks to the MCU, Warner’s DCEU, and the TV series that both Marvel and DC have brought to life, such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Daredevil, Arrow, and Supergirl. All these have also brought some iconic portrayals of various superheroes that have definitely set the bar high for future remakes and have given a new image or “identity” to the actors that bring them to life. Such is the case of Chris Evans, Marvel’s very own Captain America, who has been compared to Christopher Reeve’s Superman by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Feige spoke about all the work that has been done so far with the MCU and the challenges that have come with it. It’s a widely known story that Evans was initially reluctant to take on the Captain America role, but he was eventually convinced. Now it's hard to imagine someone else in the role. That’s why Evans’ performance as Steve Rogers reminds Feige of Christopher Reeve’s take on Superman – a character who, even though many other actors have embodied the Man of Steel, it’s still constantly linked to Reeve.
He’s a reluctant star, but I think he’s become – and I’ve said this to him – for as amazing as all of our actors are at embodying these characters, every single one of them, he’s one that reminds me, alongside Christopher Reeve, as just like ‘these are the characters’.
The interviewer added that fellow journalists even call Evans “Cap”, to which Feige replied that he is a “great actor” who “can do whatever he wants to do,” but even looking at Evans’ Twitter account makes you wonder “is he becoming Captain America?” as he normally uses the social media site to take a stand on various political issues. But as good as this casting choice was, Feige admits that it was a “super hard” search for the perfect Captain America.
Casting Captain America was super hard. I started to think, ‘Are we not going to be able to find Captain America, and if we can’t, what are we going to do with Avengers? Is the whole thing going to fall apart?’ And, then, finally opening ourselves up to Chris Evans, who we had initially sort of just looked past because he was Johnny Storm in a Fantastic Four franchise. Then, bringing him in and showing him the artwork, showing him what was happening in this movie, and he took a weekend to decide.
Evans first appeared as Steve Rogers/Captain America in Captain America: The First Avengers in 2011, and has since reprised his role in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War, with a cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He will come back in Avengers: Infinity War and is also set to appear in the still untitled fourth Avengers film.
There’s no doubt that the casting team behind the MCU has made wise choices when it comes to finding their heroes, as they have also made sure that the actors have some traits in common with their characters. One of the reasons Evans' portrayal as Cap has been so well received and has connected with the audience is his compassionate and philanthropic nature, something that links with the personality of his on-screen character.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019