Thursday, February 25, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Captain America doesn't exist

I hope that headline didn't burst too many bubbles. But it's the truth.
Certain areas of the Internet are currently bubbling over in rage over a rumor that The Office's John Krazinski has been cast as Captain America. If true, I have no real problem with that idea. But I'll get to that in a moment.
This kind of nonsense has been the way of comic fandom since Tim Burton's first Batman film. Reactionaries didn't have the benefit of a full-blown WWW back when Michael Keaton's casting was announced in 1988, but the rage still spilled over into the mainstream media. Warners rushed a trailer into theaters to show the kind of film they were making and managed to silence a few naysayers. The rest shut their mouths soon after the movie was released.
Today, when people tick off the problems with Burton's original film, Keaton's name never makes the list. Most people don't remember the furor created by the DC Comics Fundamentalists over his casting.
But the process seems to have carried over into the development of just about ever superhero movie since. The problem, I think, is that many comic fans spend so much time engrossed in fantasy that they lose all perspective on the characters. You will never find a human being who looks like Alex Ross' version of Captain America. If you were able to genetically engineer such a specimen, they'd lack certain talents to actually carry a film (such as acting, charisma or general talent.)
The origin of Captain America is a pretty simple story about an ordinary guy who becomes a superhero (in many ways it's a story that mirrors our own nation's humble origins and rise to world power.)
You don't tell that story by casting the embodiment of the Golden Mean (or, more to the point, the Aryan Ideal) in the role of the everyman. If you do there is no character arc. Before the movie even begins the audience can see the artifice behind the story. It makes about as much sense as casting Rebecca Romijn as a mousy waitress.
In the end, there's more to acting than putting on a costume. Krazinski might not be the first person I think of when I read a Captain America comic (he's always looked a little too much like Chevy Chase's illegitimate child to me.) But I'm ready to give him a chance. Because life's too short to waste it bitching about a movie that doesn't yet exist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...