Even very early on, there have always been talk that trying to sell a character who literally wears his nationalism on his sleeves (or in this case, his chest and face) was going to take some doing. I’m talking about Captain America, of course. How do you sell a character named after America, who looks and represents the country just by being, when nowadays it seems that Hating/Blaming America is the favorite pasttime second only to soccer (ahem, excuse me, football) in most countries not named “America”? Marvel has been undoubtedly wrestling with that question, and now they seem to have made a decision:
“Captain America: The First Avenger” will continue to be called “Captain America: The First Avenger” for most of the planet — except in South Korea, Russia, and the Ulkraine, where it will simply be known as “The First Avenger”. Apparently Marvel has done extensive research, and found that in most countries, the comic book character is iconic enough to override any other factors. Every country, that is, except for the three mentioned. Hey, maybe they just don’t get superheroes in the Ulkraines? And you can sorta understand Russia. South Korea, though, is a bit of a surprise. Why only South Korea out of all the Asian countries? Curious…
Granted, changing a movie title to suit local tastes is nothing new. Hell, South Korean, Chinese, and Japanese movies regularly have something like a half dozen titles before they ever make their way to the States. When you’re trying to sell a film beyond your borders, compromises must be made in the name of capitalism.
Of course, since the Captain America part in the title is such a big part of the character, many will no doubt take offense to having it stripped from the title in certain markets. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that big of a deal. I mean, it’s not like they’re going to be covering up the good Captain’s stars and stripes with duct tape in the movie, right? He’ll still be Captain America, look like Captain America, and fight for America. So what if the words on the poster won’t have “Captain America” on it in three countries?
But that’s just my two cents. Your thoughts?