[Update: Chris Evans IS Captain America!]
Finally, an actual step forward in casting the title character of The First Avenger: Captain America! Chris Evans, one of the top contenders recently listed to be in the running to play Captain America for Marvel Studios in a 9-picture deal has been reportedly been offered the role of a lifetime, hopefully putting an end to the rumors and speculation.
The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog has scooped the info and says Marvel has yet to release an official announcement and Evans' reps at CAA have declined to comment.
Evans is certainly not an "unknown" actor as director Joe Johnston described as their ideal leading man, and comic fans are well aware of him from his stint playing that other Marvel Comics character, Johnny Storm aka Human Torch, in the two Fantastic Four films. He also has roles in two upcoming comic book movies in The Losers and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, so he's definitely making a run at Ryan Reynolds for number of key characters played in comic book movies.
Evans is typically typecast into playing witty fast-talking comedy relief type characters but in this role he'll have to play the 1940s era charming hero and leave the comedy to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark character when it comes to The Avengers.
It almost feels as if over the last few weeks, a whole pile of names was thrown out to the public through various sources and leaks to just gauge the response to each. Of all the actors listed as a "candidate" for the role, the idea of Evans as Steve Rogers definitely had the most positive reception from fans and blogs. Even I admitted in our post about Channing Tatum and Ryan Phillippe that although I wasn't sure if I could picture him in the role just yet, that if it's not him who is chosen, it would have to be an unknown - He's the only listed "name" actor who was acceptable for my preference.
Of the known actors rumored for the role, Evans certainly tops the list and I think fans will easily warm up to the idea very quickly should he accept the role. The one hitch that may put a damper on the situation is that Evans is currently committed to a role in the romantic comedy What's Your Number? opposite Anna Faris. That flick is scheduled to shoot this summer as well but I'm sure they'll have to make arrangements to make this work. This is a role (or 9) you cannot pass on.
So, if it's made official, what do you think of Chris Evans playing Captain America opposite Hugo Weaving's Red Skull?
The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.