Comic-Con 2010: Captain America Won’t Be No Senator’s Son

By  · Published on July 21st, 2010

Perhaps Creedence Clearwater Revival said it best when they said that “some folks are born made to wave the flag, Ooh, they’re red, white and blue.” Some folks are born to be true patriots. Steve Rogers, best known as the hero Captain America, is one of them. For decades, Captain America has been a cliche-spouting symbol of jingoism. And aside from those post-Nixon years, that’s pretty much the only way he knows how to be. But in film form – at least in director Joe Johnston’s upcoming Captain America film – there will be more to Steve Rogers than some apple pie-loving catch phrases. He’ll be a good man, but he’s no flag waver.

“We’re sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers,” Johnston explained to Hero Complex. “He’s a guy that wants to serve his country but he’s not a flag-waver. We’re reinterpreting sort of what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was.”

“He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” added the director, whose career has seen its highs (The Rocketeer) and some recent lows (The Wolf Man). “He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier, you have to stay who you are inside, that’s really what’s important more than your strength and everything. It’ll be interesting and fun to put a different spin on the character and one that the fans are really going to appreciate.”

As Johnston and LA Times writer Geoff Boucher both admit in the piece, this is tricky business. One needn’t look any further than the recent uproar around Wonder Woman’s costume update to see how die hard comic fans will jump on anything that feels different or unfamiliar. So a change to Captain America’s personality would bring about some crooked looks. However, it’s also important for Johnston and the many writers (including Joss Whedon) who have worked on this story to make something that connects with contemporary audiences. Today’s audiences expect a bit of depth, no matter who the character is. To hear that Chris Evans’ version of Steve Rogers will be a man of many layers should be encouraging. Because no one wants the Looney Toons version of a Marvel superhero. Besides, it looks like we’ve already got Thor for that.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)