Director Joe Johnston on How Captain America Is Different from The Wolfman; New Photo Reveals Possible Plot Device
Posted 01.10.11 by Ryan
Director Joe Johnston seemed a curious choice to many fans when he was hired for Marvel Studios' adaptation of Captain America: The First Avenger in 2008. Fans of Rocketeer will point to the 1991 movie as proof that Johnston can handle a genre movie set in the past, but 2010's The Wolfman could be just as quickly pointed to as proof of the opposite. No one is more aware of The Wolfman's shortcomings than Johnston himself, who explained to ComicBookMovie why Captain America will be a different experience.
Every picture has its highs and lows, its dreads and excited anticipations. To fully understand the Captain America experience, I have to keep reminding myself that I had just come off another film I shot in the UK, The Wolfman. The two experiences could not have been more different, in fact in many ways (certainly not all) they were polar opposites. I had three weeks of prep on Wolfman, a ridiculously inadequate amount of time to try to bring together the fractured and scattered pieces of the production. I had taken the job mostly because I had a cash flow problem, the only time in my career I’ve ever let finances enter into the decision process. Money is always the wrong reason for doing something that requires passionate devotion. The production was a leaky, rudderless ship in a perfect storm suffering from bad decisions, infighting, reluctance of the powers-that-be to take responsibility, and too many under-qualified cooks in the kitchen. The good news and bad news about directing is that when the picture works you’re showered with all the credit and when it doesn’t work you’re dumped on with all the blame. Both scenarios are undeserved.
Johnston maintains that he takes "full responsibility for The Wolfman not working" though he had high praise for his cast and crew. Still, Johnston maintains that Captain America has none of the issues he experienced on The Wolfman.
I had thirty weeks of prep on Captain America. I have a small team of qualified, supportive, creative producers who are actually helping me achieve my vision of the film. I had a dream cast headed by Chris Evans. I had the best designers, artists, sculptors, craftspeople...a creative team that could design, build and photograph anything and have it look amazing and beautiful. We had unbelievable luck with the weather wherever we shot in England. The weather was so good we were compelled to make it rain for a couple of sequences just for some variety. At times I felt as if the gods were saying, "Ahem, sorry about that Wolfman thing... let us make it up to you." Captain America was probably the most universally positive experience I’ve had in this mad business.
Captain America still does not have a trailer, with a six-second sneak peek released last week serving as the only available footage from the movie. The first set of official photos were released in October, offering a rare glimpse into the movie, which will follow Steve Rogers (Evans) as he joins Project Rebirth and becomes Captain America to fight in World War II.
While Marvel Studios does its best to keep its movies a secret for as long as they can, a recent photo from SFX Magazine (via Moviefone) shows a specific plot device as it shows Johann Schmidt, a.k.a. the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), holding a cosmic cube, a powerful device used throughout the Marvel Universe that essentially grants the desire of the person using it. Unless it turns out that the cube is just a square-shaped snow globe, it's likely that the cosmic cube has some relevance to the movie's plot.
Captain America opens opens July 22, 2011, and co-stars Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Stanley Tucci, Neal McDonough, Toby Jones, and Dominic Cooper.