Joe Johnston to Direct The First Avenger: Captain America!

Well here it is, kids, the first of what is sure to be many unofficial announcements regarding Marvel Studios’ upcoming mega slate of comic book movies: according to Entertainment Weekly, “Jurassic Park 3” and “Hildalgo” director Joe Johnston has been given the job of bringing Steve Rogers and his alter ego, Captain America to the big screen in “The First Avenger: Captain America”, which would spin-off into the “Avengers” movie, set to be release a few months after “Captain America” in 2011. Johnston is definitely no stranger to big-budget, special effects heavy films, having done the aforementioned “Jurassic Park” sequel, as well as my personal favorite, “The Rocketeer”, and the upcoming “Wolf Man” with Benicio Del Toro.

The news from EW:

Marvel is making good on its promise to release The First Avenger: Captain America on May 6, 2011. The studio just signed director Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) to helm the project. Johnston, the director of Universal’s 2009 film The Wolfman, will be charged with transforming Steve Rogers from an unfit military man into a super-powered crime fighter.

For the longest time, Nick Cassavetes was in line to direct the movie, but that was way back in 2007. As far as I know, EW has always been right about their Hollywood hiring rumors, so I don’t doubt them that Johnston has gotten the gig, replacing Cassavetes.

Now the question is: Who will play Steve Rogers?

Update has confirmed the story with an official press release:

Joe Johnston has signed on to direct Marvel Studios’ “The First Avenger: Captain America” based on characters developed by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. The film will be produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige. Executive Producers on the project are Louis D’Esposito, Stan Lee and Marvel Studios’ Chairman David Maisel. Paramount Pictures will distribute “The First Avenger: Captain America” worldwide. The film will come to theaters domestically on May 6, 2011.

LOGLINE: In the early days of the Marvel Universe, Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.

Below: “Did someone say they needed a Captain America? I’m cheap. And available!”