Reports surfaced today that the next comic book film to go into production has now officially signed on an actor for the lead role. In the preceding weeks and months there have been hundreds of auditions and around a dozen serious contenders for the part of "Steve Rogers" aka “Captain America". Among the candidates were Step up and Fighting star Channing Tatum, John Krasinski who plays "Jim" on NBC's hit sitcom The Office and Chace Crawford of Gossip Girl fame. At one point in the running the titular character slot was considered Krasinki's to lose as he was rumored to have a virtual lock on being cast as the story's iconic avenger. Other names that were highlighted during the selection process were Garret Hedlund starring in the Disney cyber epic Tron to be released late this year, and Mike Vogel, known best for his work in J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield. At one point there were even whispers of Leonardo DiCaprio portraying the Marvel personification of liberty and freedom.
In the entirety of the audition process no foreigners were ever considered to be handpicked for the role of the Mr. Rogers associated with a nation rather than a neighborhood. Although Captain America's nemesis "Red Skull" will be played by Australian Hugo Weaving who is most recognizable as "Agent Smith" from The Matrix films. He has most recently worked with the project's director Joe Johnston in this year's Wolfman, which was not widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
The end result of the ongoing whirlwind of names and gossip was that Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Push) was offered the part last week. There was debate over the weekend of whether or not he would accept the huge task of justly playing "Steve Rogers" on the big screen. Finally on Monday, May 22nd, confirmation of the deal was announced. "Johnny Storm" aka "The Human Torch" will be this generation's Captain America. The deal which Evans signed includes leading, supporting and cameo roles in nine film projects in the coming years. These films include potential sequels, the Avengers movie and appearances in other Marvel Comics projects, as we've become accustomed to superheroes and mutants appearing in the on screen recreations of their counterpart’s stories.
It would appear that the studio has made a wise choice here. Evans has a sufficient background as far as playing characters with super powers and he also has the build and All-American look to suit up as this particular coveted comic book protagonist. Shooting for this pivotal project in the Marvel world may kick off as soon as January of next year.