Captain America: The First Avenger
Directed by Joe Johnston
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by Christopher MarkusStephen McFeely
Based on Captain America by Joe SimonJack Kirby
Starring Chris EvansTommy Lee JonesHugo WeavingDominic CooperNeal McDonoughDerek LukeStanley Tucci
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Shelly Johnson
Editing by Robert DalvaJeffrey Ford
Studio Marvel Studios
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) July 22, 2011 (2011-07-22)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $140 million[1]


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Captain America: The First Avenger

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Teaser poster

Captain America: The First Avenger is an upcoming 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America. The film is being directed by Joe Johnston, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans as Captain America. The film will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Captain America: The First Avenger first began as a concept in 1997 and was scheduled to be distributed by Artisan Entertainment. However, a lawsuit caused disruption to the project and it was settled in September 2003. After Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch, the project was set up at Paramount Pictures. Directors Jon Favreau and Louis Leterrier were considered to direct the project before Johnston was approached in 2008. Production of Captain America: The First Avenger began in June 2010 and filming took place in London, Manchester and Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and Los Angeles in the United States.The film is currently scheduled for release on July 22, 2011 in 3D.


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In 1942, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is deemed physically unfit to enlist in the U.S. Army and fight the Nazis in World War II. Volunteering instead for Project: Rebirth, a secret military operation, he is physically transformed into a super-soldier dubbed Captain America. With sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), he fights the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Hitler's treacherous head of advanced weaponry, whose own plan for world domination involves a seemingly magical object known as the Tesseract.


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Kevin Feige, Joe Johnston, Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International.

  • Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:

  • Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Phillips:

  • Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt / Red Skull:

  • Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark:

  • Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan:

  • Derek Luke as Gabe Jones:

  • Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine:

  • Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter:

  • Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes:

  • Toby Jones as Arnim Zola:

  • Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger:

  • Kenneth Choi as Jim Morita:

Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury, the director of the super-spy agency, S.H.I.E.L.D..Natalie Dormer has an unspecified role in the film.Stan Lee will have a cameo appearance in the film.


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Photo taken in Manchester on the set of Captain America: The First Avenger.


In April 1997, Marvel was in negotiations with Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn to produce Captain America. In addition Larry Wilson and Leslie Bohem were set to write a script. In May 2000, Marvel teamed with Artisan Entertainment to help finance the film. However, a lawsuit arose between Marvel Comics and Joe Simon over the ownership of Captain America copyrights, disrupting the development process of the film. The lawsuit was eventually settled in September 2003. In 2005, Marvel received a $525 million investment from Merrill Lynch, allowing them to independently produce ten films, including Captain America. Paramount Pictures agreed to distribute the film.

Originally, the film would stand alone; producer Kevin Feige said "about half" the movie would be set during World War II before moving into the modern day. Producer Avi Arad said, "The biggest opportunity with Captain America is as a man 'out of time', coming back today, looking at our world through the eyes of someone who thought the perfect world was small-town United States. Sixty years go by, and who are we today? Are we better?" He cited the Back to the Future trilogy as an influence, and claimed he had "someone in mind to be the star, and definitely someone in mind to be the director". In February 2006, Arad hoped to have a summer 2008 theatrical release date.Jon Favreau approached Arad to direct the film as a comedy, but he chose to make Iron Man instead. In July 2006, David Self was hired to write the script. He explained Captain America was his favorite superhero as a child because "my dad told me I could one day be Captain America".Michael France was also interested.Joe Johnston met with Marvel to discuss directing the film.

Captain America was put on hold during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. However, in January 2008, Marvel Entertainment reached an interim comprehensive agreement with the Writers Guild of America that would put writers immediately back to work on various projects that were under the company's development. On May 5, 2008 (after the success of Iron Man), Marvel announced the film The First Avenger: Captain America for a May 6, 2011 release (before being slightly pushed back to July 22).The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier viewed some of the concept art being created for the film, and was impressed enough to offer his services, but Marvel turned him down. Leterrier said "I've seen some of the design work they're doing for Captain America, and it looks amazing". Johnston finally signed on in November 2008, and he hired Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (The Chronicles of Narnia) to rewrite. Feige cited Johnston's directorial work on October Sky and The Rocketeer and his special effects work on the original Star Wars trilogy as to why he was an appropriate choice. Raiders of the Lost Ark will be an influence on the film, because they hope the film will not feel like a period piece.

When asked whether anti-U.S. sentiments would affect the film's box office, Feige said, "Marvel is perceived pretty well around the world right now, and I think putting another uber-Marvel hero into the worldwide box office would be a good thing. [...] We have to deal with much the same way that Captain America, when thawed from the Arctic ice, entered a world that he didn't recognize," similar to the way Stan Lee reintroduced the character in the 1960s. Likewise, Arad noted "Captain America stands for freedom for all democracies, for hope all around the world. He was created to stop tyranny and the idea of stopping tyranny is important today as it was then and unfortunately it's not going to change because that's how the world works. So I think that we will have some interesting challenges but at the end of the day if the movie is terrific and the movie talks to the world, it's not about one place, it's about the world and I think [on] that basis it will be very successful." Later, after the election of US President Barack Obama, Feige commented, "The idea of change and hope has permeated the country, regardless of politics, and that includes Hollywood. Discussions in all our development meetings include the zeitgeist and how it's changed in the last two weeks. Things are being adjusted".

In December 2009, director Joe Johnston indicated he planned to start filming in April 2010. In a separate interview that month, he described the film's pre-production: "Rick Heinrichs is production-designing and we're set up down in Manhattan Beach[, California]. ... We have eight or ten really talented artists, and we all just sit around all day and draw pictures and say, 'Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could do this?' It's that phase of the production where money doesn't matter: 'Let's put all the greatest stuff up on the wall and [then later] see what we can afford.'" The film, he said, will begin "in 1942, 1943" during World War II. "The stuff in the '60s and '70s [comic books] we're sort of avoiding. We're going back to the '40s, and then forward to what they're doing with Captain America now." Johnston confirmed that the Red Skull would be the film's primary antagonist. In February 2010, he stated that the World War II-era super team the Invaders will appear in "the entire second half" of the film, though in November he shot down speculation that the Sub-Mariner, an Invaders team-member in the comics, would be included.

Variety reported in March 2010, that Chris Evans was cast as Captain America, and Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.

In April, Sebastian Stan, who had been mentioned in media accounts as a possibility to play the title role of Captain America, was cast as Bucky Barnes. Stan is contracted for multiple films. Also in April it was announced that Hayley Atwell had been cast as Captain America's girlfriend Peggy Carter as well as the changing of the film's name from The First Avenger: Captain America to Captain America: The First Avenger. The next day it was reported that Joss Whedon would be re-writing the script for Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger as part of his negotiation to write and direct The Avengers. However the extent of Whedon’s polish on Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s script remained unknown. Whedon later clarified in an August interview that "I just got to make some character connections. The structure of the thing was really tight and I loved it, but there were a couple of opportunities to find his voice a little bit — and some of the other characters — and make the connections so that you understood exactly why he wanted to be who he wanted to be. And progressing through the script to flesh it out a little bit".Samuel L. Jackson revealed in an interview that he will reprise his role as Nick Fury in the film. Kevin Fiege later confirmed that Fury's elite special unit of US Army Rangers, the Howling Commandos would also appear.

In May, Marvel Studios confirmed Hugo Weaving will play the Red Skull.Toby Jones entered final negotiations to play Arnim Zola.Iron Man director Jon Favreau said a younger Howard Stark would appear in the film, played by Dominic Cooper. Hayley Atwell revealed that Tommy Lee Jones will have a role in the film. By June, Neal McDonough was in talks to play Dum Dum Dugan. Four days later, McDonough confirmed he was taking the part. On the same day, Stanley Tucci joined the cast as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist who created the Super Soldier Serum.


Production began on June 28, 2010. The same day, Marvel confirmed that actor Tommy Lee Jones had been cast to play US Army Colonel Chester Phillips. The next day Marvel confirmed Dominic Cooper will portray the younger version of Howard Stark, the character played by John Slattery in Iron Man 2. The film was announced to shoot in London, England, in late July, and was expected to include scenes featuring key London landmarks. War scenes were scheduled to be filmed in September in the Welsh village of Caerwent. Filming was also scheduled to take place that month in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, UK, where parts of the 2004 film Alfie and the 2009 Sherlock Holmes had been shot, followed by Liverpool's Stanley Dock area, both doubling for the period's Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Scenes were also scheduled to be shot in Liverpool's Albert Dock.

In July 2010, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said that both this film and Thor would be released in 3-D. Johnston did a one-day test shooting with a 3-D rig, as opposed to shooting in 2-D and converting, and found it "a nightmare" due to bulky gear, calibration issues and restricted filmmaking options. Regardless, he said he believes 3-D is "a new challenge and it's exciting". Producer Kevin Feige insisted that the conversion would not compromise the film's image quality, as the decision to release the film in 3-D was made early in development, and that “an unprecedented amount of time” would be devoted to the conversion process, with all the film's visual effects being rendered in true 3-D.

In November 2010 actor Stanley Tucci stated he completed filming his scenes and that the rest of the production would wrap in about three weeks. In February 2011, Alan Silvestri was announced to compose the film score. In March 2011 CraveOnline reported that Captain America: The First Avenger would be undergoing reshoots in the United Kingdom and in Los Angeles in April 2011. A scene was filmed in New York City's Times Square on April 23, 2011.


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In June 2010, the official logo for Captain America: The First Avenger surfaced on the Internet. Early footage of the film was shown at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International with director Joe Johnston admitting that they just started filming four days prior to presenting it at San Diego's convention center. The first television advertisement aired during Super Bowl XLV on the Fox network in the United States. Paramount reportedly paid three million dollars to run the thirty second ad. In January 2011 it was reported that Captain America: The First Avenger would be released simply as The First Avenger in Russia, Ukraine and South Korea due to political sensitivities. The first full trailer was released in March 2011.

In February 2011, Marvel Comics launched an eight issue digital comic titled, Captain America: First Vengeance, the same day as the first trailer airs during the Super Bowl XLV telecast. Written by Fred Van Lente and featuring a rotation of artists, the story is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each of the eight issues focuses on a specific character from the movie, heroes and villains alike, and what brought them to the point where the movie begins.

Sega announced a video game tie-in titled, Captain America: Super Soldier to be released in 2011 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS.


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Screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus said in April 2011 that they have been writing a sequel for Marvel Studios.

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