Friday, May 9, 2008

Matthew McConaughey as Captain America? FUCK NAW!

Look, I'm going to say this plain-- "Iron Man" wasn't all I'd hoped it would be. I'm not trying to disparage the movie, as it was better than either of the Spider-Man movies I've seen, and those made lots of folks really happy. I'm just saying, with that kind of talent, I'd hoped the flick would transcend the boundaries of the comic book movie, as opposed to nestling in the comforting familiarity of that genre's better examples. While the film was exceptionally cast, no one would have thought about Robert Downey Jr. during a fan casting session. However, once the name was uttered, it settled rather nicely in my brain (not to mention the aforementioned bar-raising on the entire production.)

You know who isn't? Matthew McConaughey. I like the guy generally, but let's be honest, the guy stars in light comedies where Kate Hudson has to do the heavy lifting. He appears in "action movies" like "Sahara," where he manages to come off slightly less charismatic than Steve Zahn. I'd have felt better about Luke Wilson being approached to play a super-hero in a serious take, because at least he's capable of something resembling nuance-- for another totally mellow abiding dude. So imagine my horror upon hearing that not only might McConaughey play a long underwear type, but possibly my favorite, Captain America.

Asses need to be kicked as though by a human fighting machine. Iron Man gets to be played by one of the finest actors of my generation, with fine support. Though I think the end result looks awful, Ed Norton and William Hurt seem to have been damned solid choices for the new Hulk movie. And Captain America, the man who's voice can command gods, may well be played by a drawlin' redneck who consistently sounds like he's taking a nip of helium with his drag off the bong? Can you imagine Cap's storied speechifying as interpreted by this dipshit? Did you not see "Reign of Fire?" It's not like picking a well bit young brunette to play Colossus with a handful of lines... this is the Sentinel of Liberty!!!

Also, the proposed new Captain America film, already assigned a 2011 release date, does not yet have a director. Can you imagine a talented craftsman signing on to this movie with Matthew McConaughey anchored to it? Hell, even a hack director would have to give serious consideration to following in the wake of Iron Man's good fortune with the high probability of box office poison Matt brings to the table. Added bonus: the movie is in pre-production under the title "The First Avenger: Captain America," with an Avengers film set for release a few months later. Gee, that's worked out so well for pictures not directed by Peter Jackson, I'm sure Marvel will be beating off prospective filmmakers with a stick. For God's sake-- even Paul Walker would be better, and my understanding is that his abs came at the his immortal soul, which explains his lack of any discernible personality.

The two names that tend to pop into people's minds when Cap comes up, myself included, remain Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. One was Tyler Durden, so you know he can inspire legions, while the other exudes intelligence and strength in a manner most becoming. Both are also getting their middle age on, so it's important to take advantage of these guys physiques and chops while they're still viable. Both are also new fathers, so you've got to figure kid-friendly fare and their immortality are fresh in mind. As they're both serious actors, it will take that sort of motivation to get them into a funny costume to sling a rather cumbersome shield.

I expect those two would come with a rather sizable price tag as well, so I recognize some discounted choices may be necessary. You can still find some bargains in their age range that I could get behind, like Brendan Frasier or Ewan McGregor. Sure, both are aging with less grace than the A-listers, one's a brunette, and the other's Scottish. Both are charming, can affect strong heroic voices, and can still get physical when necessary.

Okay, I'll admit I see the same problem as you-- the first film has to feature the origin. That means a young, 4F Steve Rogers on display, a suspension of disbelief that gets highly problematic after 40. Sure, but we don't won't Chad Michael Murray or any other WB/CW types doing to the Living Legend of WWII what George Miller nearly did to the Justice League. How about some guys who can play young? I don't care how often he works with Martin Scorsese-- Leonardo DiCaprio is gettable. Any actor who's shorter than Tom Cruise and still looks like he's working his way through puberty at 33 is dying for the chance to play a super-hero. Ryan Reynolds can't seem to avoid getting attached to super-hero movies with is physique, and shouldn't Cap be made a priority over a friggin' "Deadpool" movie? Didn't Clint Eastwood already make one of those anyway?

I've got a couple more for you that I doubt have ever been much considered: Joaquin Phoenix, who's both respected and a draw, plus brings a lot of the same gravitas as Damon to the table. Alternately, if you're just set on getting an Oakie type for the role and want to save every dime for those Avengers special effects, how about Nathan Fillion? He's far from ripped, but he's one of those guys everybody just loves, and can be commanding when the role calls for it. So what if he's Canadian? Given a choice between Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou, and Jessica Biel-- well, let's just say the casting would become festively imaginative...

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