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First Captain America poster brings the intensity

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First poster for the First Avenger...

'Captain America' (2011)

The poster is moody, intense, atmospheric, and effortlessly evokes a sense of stirring music and slow motion.

Captain America's (Chris Evans) suit, and even more so, his shield, are notched and battle-scarred, presumably reflecting his inner turmoil.  Flecks of mud are flying around him, indicating the midst of battle -- yet Cap's calm, standing tall except for his head being bowed; he's naturally poised, but full of noble grief.

Chris Evans in the poster for 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (2011)

The whole poster has a gritty, heroic look, hinting that Steve Rogers is going to go through some really intense stuff, and come out a hero (his journey to becoming truly Captain America?)  And it being Joss Whedon-related, this probably means that someone we care about is going to die -- though he did hold back in his episode of Glee.

This all suggests a blockbuster with substance: action which has gritty immediacy, as well juicy Whedonesque angst, and, ultimately, meaningful heroics.  Director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer) seems a fitting choice for this kind of stirring, old-fashioned adventure.

The only thing which threatens to disrupt this tone is the recent news that Alan Mencken (the composer for Tangled, Enchanted, and many Disney films) is reportedly going to write a song or songs for the movie, for when Cap is in the USO, in the style of the song at the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2.  Though he's a good composer, a potentially atmospheric and involving film such as this doesn't need a silly, jaunty, annoying song like the one in Iron Man 2 (if I remember it correctly) to ruin the mood.  But I look forward to being proved wrong.  (Now if Joss Whedon (Once More With Feeling, Doctor Horrible) had written a song for the movie...)  Anyway, at least the fantastic Michael Giacchino (Lost, Fringe, Ratatouille, Speed Racer, Star Trek, Up) is apparently composing the score.

The poster features the evocative single-word tagline "Avenge" in bold, shiny capital letters across Captain America's arms and chest, with him looking down at it pensively.  (But there's no room to add the "r" to make "Avenger", perhaps hinting that avenging is something he does (or is encouraged to do), but it isn't his identity?  Of course, in the subtitle of the movie, and in the crossover movie The Avengers, he is an Avenger, so maybe this is going to be part of his character arc?  Or perhaps I'm overanalysing it.)

This could be in the context of Captain America being key to Allied efforts in WWII, or it could (instead, or perhaps also) be something more personal, which would explain his downcast expression (or maybe he's so patriotic, and so noble, that even the suffering of others that he doesn't know still weighs heavily on his shoulders).

Does he feel like it's his duty to avenge (in which case, probably in the context of the war), even though he doesn't want to?

Hopefully the film won't promote or condone revenge, like too many other Hollywood movies.  Superheroes should save people, not take revenge.  Of course, if it does, it could still potentially be a great movie (c.f. The Princess Bride), but it would send the wrong message.

Still, with Joss Whedon having done a pass on the script, hopefully he should bring a maturity and complexity to it.  And with his propensity and aptitude for long-form storytelling, hopefully some of this will carry forward to Cap's storyline in The Avengers, which Joss Whedon is writing and directing.  The poster's obvious reference to Captain America being the First *Avenge*r hints at this.

Some of the most memorable story arcs in the Whedonverse involve exploring the terrible consequences of the desire for revenge, with certain elements of Angel Season 2, Angel Season 3, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6, and Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog coming to mind (though of course other writers were heavily involved in some of these).  However, the otherwise awesome Fray is more problematic in this respect.

Also, Narnia writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the first draft of the screenplay, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader did explore the inner struggle between good and evil, so maybe they'll have carried some of that over to Captain America.

Captain America: The First Avenger, starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Anatole Taubman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Stanley Tucci, is released 22 July 2011 in the US, and a week later in the UK.

Popwatch


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