Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1941, Captain America is a patriotic supersoldier who fought the Axis powers during WWII and was later frozen in ice and thawed out in present day. He was the first Marvel character to appear in media outside of comics and was most recently portrayed by Chris Evans in both the Captain America and Avengers film series. The Captain America films have been well received both critically and commercially, with some of the latter films exploring complicated topics such as the fight against terrorism and the role of political oversight.
Here are some facts you might not have known about one of America’s most popular superheroes.
Captain America Facts
35. Following in the Footsteps
“Captain America: The First Avenger” was the fifth live-action adaptation of the superhero. There was a television movie in 1944, two more television movies in 1979, and a theatrical release in 1990.
34. A Kardashian’s Best Friend
A combination of green screen and physical film tricks created the illusion of “Skinny Steve.” Chris Evans was shrunk digitally in post-production by a company called LOLA, which specializes in digital “plastic surgery.”
33. Like a Rock
Hayley Atwell improvised the touch on Chris Evans’ chest when he emerged from the pod as Captain America. The surprise on her face was genuine as she was quite taken with Evans’ physique. Aren’t we all?
32. Third Time’s a Charm
Worried about the effects of fame on his private life, Chris Evans declined the role three times before finally agreeing. Apparently, getting Chris Evans to agree to a role is the same as summoning Beetlejuice.
Wolverine and Magneto were both supposed to make cameo appearances since both of them were present during WWII. However, these cameos were cancelled due to issues regarding character rights.
Hayley Atwell based her performance as Peggy Carter on Ginger Rogers: “She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards, and in high heels.” Side note: Captain America looks stunning in 4-inch pumps.
29. Actually the Fifth Avenger
Despite being labeled “The First Avenger,” Captain America was not the first avenger in the comic series. That honor goes to Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor. Captain America joined the Avengers only after Hulk left the team.
28. WebMD is not his Friend
According to his medical report, skinny Steve Rogers had a litany of health problems including, but not limited to: asthma, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, epilepsy, sinusitis, chronic or frequent colds, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, fatigue, heart trouble, nervousness, prior contact with a tuberculosis patient, family history of diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
27. Good Vibrations
The comic version of Captain America’s shield is made from vibranium (which absorbs vibrations) and adamantium (which makes it invincible). However, because adamantium is part of the X-Men/Wolverine mythos, which is owned by 20th Century Fox, it was left out of this version, which theoretically should have made his shield into nothing more than a giant glorified packing peanut.
Vibranium, by the way, is a fictional element mined from the fictional country of Wakanda, which is the home of fictional superhero The Black Panther.
Shields of various materials were constructed for the film. Shields used for punching people were made from rubber, a magnetized shield was used whenever it was attached to Captain America’s back, and any shield that was thrown was created digitally.
24. Basically, the Whole Phone Book
Before it ultimately went to Chris Evans, Sam Worthington and Will Smith were in early talks for the role of captain America. Also on the shortlist were Garrett Hedlund, Channing Tatum, Scott Porter, Mike Vogel, Sebastian Stan, Wilson Bethel, John Krasinski, Michael Cassidy, Chace Crawford, Jensen Ackles, Kellan Lutz, Ryan Phillipe, and Alexander Skarsgard because the producers didn’t know the definition of the word “short.”
23. Aim High
Screenwriter David Self, who wrote a draft of the script said that Captain America was his favorite superhero as a child claiming that his dad told him he could “one day be Captain America.”
22. The H Stands for Horton’s
In the sequel, “The Winter Soldier,” Natasha Romanov a.k.a Black Widow, mentions the Canadian agency called Department H, which is the organization that experimented on Wolverine and created the Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight.
21. Stalking Works
Anthony Mackie, who played Falcon, wrote a series of e-mails to Marvel begging for any role as a comic book character. These e-mails caught the attention of Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, who offered him the role.
Anthony Mackie reportedly wanted to be involved in a Marvel film so he could show his son and other black children that there are superheroes who look like them.
19. Prolific Tweeter
In the comics, Falcon can actually talk to birds. They took this out of the movie version, opting instead to just give him a wingsuit.
18. In Absentia
At Scarlett Johansson’s suggestion, in several scenes in “The Winter Soldier,” Black Widow wears a necklace with an arrow on it. This is a tribute to her teammate Hawkeye, who does not make an appearance in the film.
17. To Do List
Captain America’s list of items to catch up on varies depending on the country in which the movie is being screened. In the US, items include “I Love Lucy,” Steve Jobs, and Disco. In France, the list includes the 1998 World Cup, “The Fifth Element”, and Daft Punk. In Latvia, the list includes… um… stuff about Latvia.
16. One Small Step
One of the things included on Captain America’s list was “the moon landing.” However, there is a Marvel storyline entitled “House of M” where Captain America is actually the first man on the moon.
15. Dumpster Diving
There was a scene in “The Avengers” where Steve learns what happened to his commandos and Peggy Carter. That scene was cut from that film, but reinstated in “The Winter Soldier.”
14. Keeping it Real
“The Winter Soldier” was filmed with as few visual effects as possible. Anthony Mackie said, “They wanted to stay with live action, which is a dying art form. If they could build it, they built it. If we could do it, we did it. They wanted to do as little CGI as possible. That’s why the movie looks so great.”
13. Call Human Resources
During filming, Sebastian Stan, who took on the role of Bucky, spent the entire day rehearsing his moves with a plastic cutlery piece. His intentions were to ensure his movements appeared as natural as could be.
12. Going Up
When the Helicarriers were revealed for the first time, Nick Fury tells Captain America that Tony Stark insisted on upgrading the propulsion systems. This is a nod back to “The Avengers” when Iron Man had a bit of an adventure restarting the propeller-based engines of a Helicarrier from an earlier generation. The new Helicarriers appear to use repulsor technology.
11. Going Down
In the first sequel, Nick Fury recounts the tale of his grandfather being an elevator operator. Samuel L. Jackson’s grandfather was an elevator operator. What a weird coincidence.
10. You Can Make Friends with Salad
In “The Winter Soldier,” when Robert Redford opens his refrigerator, viewers can see a bottle of Newman’s Own salad dressing, which is a tribute to Redford’s good friend Paul Newman.
9. Colorful Resume
Joe and Anthony Russo were selected to direct “The Winter Soldier” on the basis of two episodes of “Community”: “A Fistful of Paintballs” and “For a Few Paintballs More.” And now we can’t stop imagining a version of Captain America where all the bullets are replaced by paintballs.
8. A Lil Superhero Trash Talk
A day prior to recording a conflict sequence in the movie "Internal Conflict," Sebastian Stan sent Robert Downey Jr. a video of himself exercising with bicep curls, using the disassembled head of an Iron Man suit as his backdrop. He attached a message saying, "Looking forward to our scene tomorrow Robert."
7. Letting the Cat out of the Bag
“CW” is the first live-action appearance of Black Panther in any film.
6. Take that, Spidey
Black Panther originally had a much smaller role, but when it seemed like they wouldn’t be getting the rights to Spider-Man, the writers expanded his role significantly. By the time they found out that they did, in fact, have the rights to Spider-Man, Black Panther was already an integral part of the story, so they left him in and gave Spider-Man a smaller part.
5. Side Chick
In “CW,” Falcon utilizes a drone called Redwing. In the comics, Redwing was an actual bird, and was Sam Wilson’s sidekick. The bird later complained that robots are taking everyone’s jobs.
At 19, Tom Holland is the youngest actor ever to take on the role of Spider-Man. His closest competition for the role was Christopher Plummer and he lost the role because he was only 17 at the time and he would have been limited to the number of hours he could work each day because of those pesky child labor laws.
3. No Pain, No Gain
Chris Evans injured his biceps whilst filming the iconic “CW” shot of him essentially doing a bicep curl with a helicopter. Evans described it as a “very unnatural position to use to stop something but we used it because I have to flex my bicep.” He also described the scene as an "exhibition of biceps." Robert Downey Jr. joked that the producers were okay with Evans injuring himself because they got the shot they wanted.
2. We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Cheque
Furious Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter demanded the writers cut Robert Downey Jr. out of the script completely. Why? Robert Downey Jr.’s role was originally smaller, requiring only three weeks of work. Downey pushed for a bigger role, which would have resulted in a bigger payday.
However, Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president pushed for Downey’s expanded role, arguing that it could lead to many future storyline possibilities and, as a result, Downey got his payday after all, which includes a hefty back-end participation deal.
1. Coming Soon
Chris Evans has stated that this film is meant to set up “Avengers: Infinity W.” (2018) and “Untitled Avengers Movie” (2019).They’ll probably come up with a better name for that second one before it comes out.
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