Captain America? More Like Captain United Nations. Ahem.

67 Comments

Marvel Studio’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” is a near-$200 million dollar movie, or thereabouts. That’s a lot of dough, folks. Which means Marvel is going to need a hell of a lot more than just a moviegoing American public to turn a profit. Like, you know, an international box office audience. Which may explain why the studio and director Joe Johnston seems to already be tempering expectations that “Captain America” will be overly pro-American. Mind you, not that I think Johnston is saying the good Cap will be making speeches about the evils of American foreign policy or anything, but he sure seems to be hedging his bets a tad.

Johnston tells the LATimes about his (and we presume, the studio and script’s) approach to the movie:

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

Steve Rogers is “not a flag-waver”? Um, the guy runs into battle with the flag on his chest, genius.

Johnston goes on to fill us in on his version of Steve Rogers:

He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver. 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.

I like how he keeps mention that Captain America isn’t a “flag-waver”. You can almost picture him sneering as he says it.

And hey, remember, they need those International money, too:

…It’s also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing. It’s an international cast and an international story. It’s about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too.

Now why in the world would anyone think this was “about America”? Gosh, it’s only about some guy name Captain America in a movie called “Captain America”. Silly people and your silly ideas. Joe Johnson will set you straight, don’t you worry.

Joe Johnston ponders why he's so much smarter than you dumb flag-waving Americans...

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    Okay what I think he means is that Rogers is not a flag waver before he becomes Cap. He isn't walking around preaching about America. He's the All-American boy that just wants to fight for his country, and not just the U.S. but the Allied forces in general because he beleives it's the right thing to do. And truth be told the movie SHOULDN'T be about America, it's about WWII and though we were a major part of that war, it wasn't about us. So I think his statements make sense. Besides it be a little pretentious and annoying if he were basically going around like “I am American! And we are awesome!” the whole time. LoL. WWII was a time when the US joined up with like minded countries to stop something they saw as trully evil and therefore the movie should be about that and not how great America is.

  • B-Flash

    Couldn't have said it better.

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    Thanks. it's something I've been thinking about for a bit, as I heard something like this before when the film was first being talked about. I understand for it to do truly well outside the US it has to appeal to everyone, but I don't think by doing that you have to make it anti-American, or even less patriotic. It just doesn't have to be ALL about America, but about AN American. He just happens to become the symbol of our country during a time when symbols were needed most. Hence the inclusion of the Invaders which is truly a group of individuals that are symbols for others to look up to. I want Union Jack, Spitfire, and the Blazing Skull. They would be the European symbols.

  • Dvdroberts77

    No offense but this way of thinking makes no sense to me. And it seems to be part of this 'international/globalist' mindset trend. If people don't want it to be so pro-American–which, why is that bad again?–then stop taking pro-American icons and making movies about them. I saw this and made jokes about it when they did the same thing with GI Joe. “I'll bet they'll take the America away from Captain America next..” And sure enough here we are. Why the concerns about the returns? What is so offensive about Captain America the way he was created? These countries certainly aren't offended by all the aid they get from America…
    Again if it's that big of a deal then just create someone new that doesn't have jack to do with America. To me it makes no sense to take a character that is all a bout American justice, freedom, and Amercan enginuity and say “wellll…why don't we tone down the American part?” It's like people wanting chocolate ice cream, somebody saying 'ok, I'll give you chocolate ice cream only it's not going to be all that chocolatey because that might be offensive.”

    • Joe Chill

      Captain America is one of the most obsolete character in the already “lacking in originality and realism” Marvel Universe. Besides this “All American… America is so great that anybody else in the world just has to thank us and kneel… the american way (this last belonged to Superman too…YECH!)… and so on…” is rather nauseating and offending for the rest of the world. It’s quite Republican, narrow-minded and, ultimately, “far from any actual reality of contemporary world”.
      If they really want to make a film on CA, the only way is un-americanize him a little bit. Otherwise it’s gonna be a big flop and it will be perceived as a sort of ridiculous “manifesto” of the Republican party. Believe me. I’m european, I live in the second more cracked country of the EU and I see these kind of things pretty clearly.

    • Joe Chill

      Captain America is one of the most obsolete character in the already “lacking in originality and realism” Marvel Universe. Besides this “All American… America is so great that anybody else in the world just has to thank us and kneel… the american way (this last belonged to Superman too…YECH!)… and so on…” is rather nauseating and offending for the rest of the world. It’s quite Republican, narrow-minded and, ultimately, “far from any actual reality of contemporary world”.
      If they really want to make a film on CA, the only way is un-americanize him a little bit. Otherwise it’s gonna be a big flop and it will be perceived as a sort of ridiculous “manifesto” of the Republican party. Believe me. I’m european, I live in the second more cracked country of the EU and I see these kind of things pretty clearly.

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    I get what you're saying but at the same time you have to look at when the orginal comics were made as well. They were pretty much Pro-US anti-Nazi propaganda and that's it. Nothing wrong with it at all. But WWII wasn't about America. It really wasn't. Sure we try to make it look that way alot but it was NOT about just us. Now had this been a movie taking place today then yes I'd say this is the wrong way to go. But it's set in WWII and that alone says enough. it WORLD WAR TWO, not US War Two. Just because it's not about the US though doesn't mean the ideals of Freedom and Justice (which aren't uniquly ours) and American enginuity can't be featured. But the movie shouldn't be about RA RA RA Go AMerica! We didn't win the war on our own you know. And the Invaders were a major part of that in the comics. And they weren't American then either. Union Jack is basically batman as a soldier for Britain. Spitfire is a british speedster, and Cap had a FRENCH love interest. So yeah it should appeal to a multinational audience. Everyone should be able to thrill to the victory of Cap and the Invaders and the Allied forces over the evil Nazi's and the Red Skull.

    • OB1

      “WW II wasn’t about America”?! Dude who taught you history? There was this little ‘skirmish’ called PEARL HARBOR – remember that? The Japanese were a part of the Axis powers aligned WITH the Germans. Man, you need to watch a few more documentaries or something. As far as Captain America goes if it is watered down – it will hurt it more than the producers think.

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        Pearl Harbor was a tragedy, but it wasn’t the main focus of the war. If anything it got us more invested but it was hardly the MAIN focus or reason for the war. I’ll lend you those same documentaries when I’m done.

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        Pearl Harbor was a tragedy, but it wasn’t the main focus of the war. If anything it got us more invested but it was hardly the MAIN focus or reason for the war. I’ll lend you those same documentaries when I’m done.

        • ThomasOB1

          I’m glad we were “invested” in it. I don’t really call losing around 1200 lives at Pearl an investment. The main focus? Winning. Bring our boys home. Stopping tyranny.

          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

            Did you not read what I wrote…guess not. *sigh* Okay here let me start again. Pearl Harbor was a horrible loss of life for American soldiers. But it was not the reason the war was being fought. When I said invested I mean it got us as country to truly dig in during the war. But again that was OUR view of what was going on. As far as the rest of the world was concerned the war had BEEN going on. As you said stomping out tyranny was what the Allied forces were fighting for. That’s what the war was about. Not JUST Pearl Harbor, or our involvement. Our focus and every other countries focus was winning the war and bringing their soldiers home. For you to basically say the war was about Pearl Harbor is a little narrowminded. Yes it was a tragedy, yes it was a major reason we were involved but it was not the focus of the entire war.

          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

            Did you not read what I wrote…guess not. *sigh* Okay here let me start again. Pearl Harbor was a horrible loss of life for American soldiers. But it was not the reason the war was being fought. When I said invested I mean it got us as country to truly dig in during the war. But again that was OUR view of what was going on. As far as the rest of the world was concerned the war had BEEN going on. As you said stomping out tyranny was what the Allied forces were fighting for. That’s what the war was about. Not JUST Pearl Harbor, or our involvement. Our focus and every other countries focus was winning the war and bringing their soldiers home. For you to basically say the war was about Pearl Harbor is a little narrowminded. Yes it was a tragedy, yes it was a major reason we were involved but it was not the focus of the entire war.

          • OB1

            Did you read what I wrote…guess not (also). I like how you try to read between the lines – it cracks me up. Never said the war was basically about Pearl Harbor. Actually this whole conversation is beginning to crack me up – it’s like the who thinks they are the smartest game. Not playing that. I was replying to “WWII wasn’t about America”. Yes, it was global. It was also a buuld up tension since WWI. And it had everything to do with America. Try telling a WWII vet it wasn’t (that will be an interesting conversation). OK, OK, Tell you what, I’ll return those documentaries so you can watch them again. You MAY have the last word.

          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

            We were involved yes but it really wasn’t just about us. Sorry. I’m not trying to diminish America’s importance in the war but most are only looking at it from America’s point of view and not a world view. And whats wrong with a little debate. I haven’t attacked you or pulled the “you’re an idiot card” you basically did. My point was simply that though we we’re a MAJOR contributing force to the war we were not what it was about. If anything we were a MAJOR part of what finally put and end to it, but not why the war was being fought in the first place. Try telling the Europeans that Pearl Harbor was the reason for the war. They may disagree.

          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

            We were involved yes but it really wasn’t just about us. Sorry. I’m not trying to diminish America’s importance in the war but most are only looking at it from America’s point of view and not a world view. And whats wrong with a little debate. I haven’t attacked you or pulled the “you’re an idiot card” you basically did. My point was simply that though we we’re a MAJOR contributing force to the war we were not what it was about. If anything we were a MAJOR part of what finally put and end to it, but not why the war was being fought in the first place. Try telling the Europeans that Pearl Harbor was the reason for the war. They may disagree.

          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
          • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
          • OB1

            Did you read what I wrote…guess not (also). I like how you try to read between the lines – it cracks me up. Never said the war was basically about Pearl Harbor. Actually this whole conversation is beginning to crack me up – it’s like the who thinks they are the smartest game. Not playing that. I was replying to “WWII wasn’t about America”. Yes, it was global. It was also a buuld up tension since WWI. And it had everything to do with America. Try telling a WWII vet it wasn’t (that will be an interesting conversation). OK, OK, Tell you what, I’ll return those documentaries so you can watch them again. You MAY have the last word.

        • ThomasOB1

          I’m glad we were “invested” in it. I don’t really call losing around 1200 lives at Pearl an investment. The main focus? Winning. Bring our boys home. Stopping tyranny.

    • OB1

      “WW II wasn’t about America”?! Dude who taught you history? There was this little ‘skirmish’ called PEARL HARBOR – remember that? The Japanese were a part of the Axis powers aligned WITH the Germans. Man, you need to watch a few more documentaries or something. As far as Captain America goes if it is watered down – it will hurt it more than the producers think.

    • Markcowa

      What I dont understand is saying that WWII was about our virtuous allies??? Russia!?!?!?!? An evil we allied with only to fight evil! But not to go to much into reality. The movie should be pro American in every way. This guy is the ultimate American. He’s called captain America for chrissakes and his outfit is red white and blue. Its not bad to be patriotic. Since they took it away from superman in the last crap movie we could use a good American hero in the movies. I know its fiction and Im not saying hes gonna inspire the entire country to wave the flag but what the hell…when I was young we had great American heroes who kicked ass on movie screens for us. Time to bring it back!

  • sniktbubsnikt

    No one is saying WWII was all about America. However, CAPTAIN AMERICA, as you yourself pointed out, is in fact very much about America. I agree that it doesn't need to be over the top pro-American propaganda, but at the same time… if everyone is so offended by anyone ever portraying Americans in a good light, maybe they should have picked a different superhero.

  • Coderaven24

    There is a current trend in hollywood to feel slightly ashamed of being from the US. Not sure when it started, some would say its started during bush jr's years as president. this compiled with the fact the international dollars has really become more important in the last 20 years this was bound to be an issue when creating a movie about captain AMERICA.

    I can name two movies off the top of my head with the same issue.
    1. Superman Returns: writers leaving off and the American Way.
    2. GI Joe: the real international hero?

    Its rather sad honestly, being a patriot is like being married its for better or worse.
    but hollywood is a slave to markets, and I do understand the business angle of their choices. Sadly though Captain America is a weaker hero( Talking Fan Base ) and this will need to be a huge hit like Ironman and causing a rift between the current fan base and your product is not the ebst way to start.

  • http://twitter.com/Terminator2366 Bad Zack

    whatever — captin AMERICA is supposed to be about the USA plain and simple – tired of not stepping on peoples toes thats whats wrong with this country 1st we police the world with our military 2.) we outsource all of our jobs and wonder why were in a recesion 3.) we cant control our southern borders — dont put politics into my fantasy movies damn it !!!

  • Brian

    Well imo we are lucky to be getting a Captain America movie in the first place. I'm sure no studio outside of the upstart Marvel studio would have touched it. There's probably not much of a market in China or Russia for a movie like this, hence the mellowing of the America F*** yeah! vibe. Count your blessings.

  • ErickKwon

    Unless this movie does James Cameron-level business domestically, yeah, it's going to need to do big overseas, but they shouldn't overthink it. Or overdo it and turn this into “Captain Planet.” He's fighting EEEEEVIL Nazis. No one cares about shades of gray in that fight. All they need to do is rewatch “Band of Brothers” for hints on making grown men cry at the thought of patriotism in the name of American Exceptionalism