We're three-quarters of the way through this summer's collection of superhero flicks, now that Thor, X-Men: First Class, and Green Lantern have all made their way into theaters. That leaves just one more costumed hero comic book adaptation on the horizon (and for a lot of fans, the most exciting), Captain America: The First Avenger.
Marvel has yet to really unleash its Captain America marketing bonanza full force, but that will change very soon. With a second trailer expected to debut with Transformers: Dark of the Moon next week, and loads of TV spots due to hit the small screen in the beginning of July, today's Captain American "Shield" featurette (note: it's about his iconic weapon, not S.H.I.E.L.D.) is just getting an early start on hyping up Chris Evans' debut as Steve Rogers.
Up to now, it's been difficult to assess whether or not Captain America looks like a surefire hit. What bits of action glimpsed in the official Captain America trailer or scenes with Hugo Weaving's Red Skull have looked promising, but been a bit on the brief side. That will undoubtedly change with future theatrical/TV spots, which will be designed to make The First Avenger's debut look as exciting and action-packed as possible. Before all that, though, there is the new Captain America featurette to help quench the thirst of fans eagerly awaiting the hero's big screen adventure.
It's an obvious piece of synergy that was sponsored by anti-virus software firm Norton by Symantec - so be warned, the video has more than its fair share of unabashed product promotion, in between interviews with Chris Evans and the Captain America production team.
Check out that "Behind the Shield" featurette (via Facebook) below:
Director Joe Johnston has drawn comparisons between his Captain America movie and Raiders of the Lost Ark before, describing it as "a contemporary film about this period in the past" that features sci-fi elements that were designed from a 1942 vantage point. Some of said futuristic elements (like the Captain's famous red, white, and blue shield) do indeed look like the sort of weaponry people living in the 1940s might have imagined; other objects (see: some of the Hydra army technology) don't look to fit quite as well. However, given that the Captain will be wielding an old-fashioned gun and his shield in classic form, any other incongruities in the film's production design may be of little importance to fans.
One thing that Captain America definitely seems to have going for it is the cast - and not just the numerous acclaimed actors in supporting roles (Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, etc.), but the film's three main players: Weaving's villainous Red Skull, Hayley Atwell's plucky heroine Peggy Carter, and Evan's version of Cap. We've seen some great incarnations of comic book heroes and villains alike so far this summer season, but Captain America could end up including some of the best do-gooders and dastardly types out of the lot.
Whether or not Captain America will end this year's collection of superhero flicks with a bang or a thud is the big question right now. The footage previewed so far has been solid, but not really substantial enough to all but ensure that the film will be as thrilling and enjoyable a romp as everyone hopes it will be.
Opinions appear far less divided on the casting of Evans as Steve Rogers than, say, Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan - not to mention, with this being a Marvel production, Captain America shouldn't annoy comic book purists with too many large departures from the source material (a la X-Men). So there's definitely potential for this movie to be a home run with casual moviegoers and devoted Cap fans alike.
Captain America: The First Avenger hits theaters on July 22nd, 2011.