I worried for Captain America, a lot. Of all of Marvel’s pre-Avengers movies, that’s the one I had the most concern about. The challenge with Cap is that Steve Rogers is the boringest superhero ever. It’s like Lainey says about Game of Thrones all the time—there’s only so much drama when you know a character will always, unfailingly do the right thing. I was happy when they cast Chris Evans as Rogers two years ago partly because I like Evans but mostly because he’s a generally funny dude and I thought—oh, so Cap will have a sense of humor. Good call.
Except he didn’t. Not really. Evans did a good job—I’m not knocking him at all—and I really liked Captain America in the end. They hit the right mix of sincerity and comic book fantasy, and Rogers’ inherent seriousness fit right into the World War II setting. But Captain America 2 is going to be set in the present day, when Cap’s brand of apple pie Americana is decidedly not de rigeur. It’s just that that f*cking Boy Scout character doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. Joss Whedon gave him a couple decent lines in The Avengers, which Evans made the most of thanks to humor being his strongest setting as an actor, but he was still a pretty dour character. It worked in The Avengers, though, because Cap was only one cog in the wheel and he was the perfect foil to Tony Stark’s laissez faire attitude.
Then I worried all over again because I still don’t know how two-plus hours of Steve Rogers will go over in a modern context. Joe Johnston, who directed the first installment, didn’t know either which is why he wanted to keep Cap in the 1940s, but that’s also a big reason why he wasn’t brought back to direct #2. Marvel needs Steve Rogers in the 21st century to keep the machine moving toward The Avengers 2, so they had to go with a director with a more modern sensibility.
Well, you don’t get much more modern than the guys behind some of the sharpest, most forward-thinking comedy on television over the last decade, brothers Joe and Anthony Russo. Alums of Arrested Development, Happy Endings and Community, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that they’re in final negotiations to direct Captain America 2. Marvel just scored big with Joss Whedon, also a television veteran, so it makes sense that they’d roll the dice with TV guys again. But more importantly, the Russo brothers are funny. Hopefully this means Cap will be, too. At least a little bit. Please? Otherwise it’s a waste of perfectly good Chris Evans.
(Lainey: I tried to find recent photos of Chris Evans for this article but that dude, he just disappears when he’s not promoting. I quite like this.)