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Will Smith is Captain America

I’ve been reading a lot of discussion in the comics world about a casting rumor for Marvel Films’ new Captain America film. Allegedly, they’re considering Will Smith in the role.

The comic geeks have their manties in a bunch, but I’m interested to hear what the non-comic audience thinks about this.

Just for background on Captain America, Steve Rogers was a skinny runt of a boy who wanted to join the military in the late 1940s. He was rejected for active duty but chosen for a Super Soldier experiment, which transformed him into an amazing physical specimen. As Captain America, the US symbol to rally the troops and scare the Nazis in World War II, he was supposedly KIA while trying to disable a rocket that had launched from Nazi Germany. In reality, he was knocked unconscious in very cold waters, where he remained frozen, in a state of suspension, until he was thawed out in modern times. Now he remains a symbol of the US but is a man completely out of sync with time. He has a nemesis named the Red Skull who is a German white supremacist and considers Captain America to be a race traitor.

Obviously, there would be a few logistical issues with Steve Rogers being black. He was a symbol to the United States in the 1940s, and it would be strange for that to be a black man, given the timeframe. Additionally, he wouldn’t exactly be a race traitor according to his nemesis. On the other hand, Joe Louis was considered to be a symbol of America, too, and there were many black soldiers who fought and were recognized in WWII.

I think Will Smith could be an interesting choice, if he was Ali and Six Degrees of Separation and Pursuit of Happyness Will Smith, not Bad Boys and Hancock and Men in Black Will Smith.

But what do you think? Would it increase your chances of watching a Captain America movie, decrease them, or not affect them in any way?

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66 Replies to “Will Smith is Captain America”

  1. just beth

    I love Will Smith, and am glad I didn’t see Hancock… plus, I ADORE the comic-movies (for the most part)… so I think it’s good. I’d LOVE Will Smith as Capt America. Or whomever. Or Will Smith in almost anything.

    p.s. Did you notice the delicious dick of Captain America in your art, up there?? Yay!




  2. B.E. Earl

    It wouldn’t matter to me one bit if they cast Smith as Cappy. I probably wouldn’t see the movie either way.

    Captain America, like many a superhero, isn’t a character that I think could make the graceful leap from the pages of a comic-book to the silver screen. He’s too outdated. And I don’t mean because of his origin story.

    I don’t think he was someone relevant in my comic-book reading since I was 12 or 13. A different hero for a different time.

  3. Maria

    Not a fan of this choice. I like Will Smith but Captain America is white. It just throws the story way too far off if he’s made to be black.

    The Captain America film is supposed to be entirely a period piece, set in WWII and since that’s the case, they’d have to change too many integral pieces of what makes Capitan American who he is in order to have the role fit Will.

    Of course, I’m still worrying that they won’t be able to make nice with Eddie and have him return to be the Hulk. They fucked him over once, and his not returning would fuck them royally, because I think the general census was that he made that fucking movie. That’s my main concern with The Avengers film franchise.

    Oh – and I hope they bring out The Mandarin in the next Iron Man. Wow, I’m way too geeked out. I’m going to sleep now.


  4. RW

    Outside of the obvious thing – I mean Captain America was a white guy – I used to LOVE Will Smith and would easily suspend my disbelief long enough to let him go for it.

    But when he and Jada started lending their names, money and time to the destructive cult of Scientology I have lost a lot of respect for him. Seriously.

  5. manager mom

    I would watch pretty much anything that Will Smith made. I would watch a video of Will Smith taking a crap if that’s what they put in theaters. If Hollywood can find a way to have a TV show about a mother and a daughter (Cath and Kim) where Molly Shannon is only 7 years than her co-star Selma Blair in real life, they’ll find a way to bulldoze over the problems raised by the storyline some way…

  6. Blondefabulous

    Will Smith would increase the movie viewership of people who are not comic book geeks. He is a very mainstream actor and a lot of people know his name. He’d definitly be a box office draw, which I think is why he is being cnsidered for the role. Movie studios are losing money hand over fist, and by choosing someone who can make them money just from his name, they are thinking they are ahead of the game, $$$-wise!!

  7. Grant

    It wouldn’t affect my desire to see it. I liked that they cast Michael Clark Duncan as the Kingpin in Daredevil, not because they made the villain black but because I couldn’t think of another actor that could physically portray the Kingpin as well. Will Smith is a capable actor and has muscles, but I usually dismiss him as just a blockbuster tool. His name isn’t enough to get me into a theatre, unlike Yuri Ebihara.

    Although I’m not sure about your assertion that there were many black people and soldiers in WWII. Unless TV and the movies have lied to me, black people weren’t really invented until the ’70’s, and they weren’t involved in mainstream America until decades later.

  8. Poppy

    He rocks every role he ever gets, so I say it’s a good choice.

    I appreciate when someone unexpected is cast as the main character.

    And not giving a role to Will Smith (<——) because the character’s name is Steve Rogers (<——- … do I need to make more of a point than arrowing the names?) is just plain stupid.

  9. Candy

    I get what you’re saying, but surely the brilliant Hollywood minds have already figured out a way around the problems…surely…?

    I can’t imagine Will Smith doing this after having just done Hancock.

  10. NYCWD

    First, your title is misleading because this is simply a rumor. We would appreciate you not raising our blood pressure.

    Secondly, we do not wear manties… we wear Hanes.

    Finally, we won’t really comment because your asking the “casually faithful” for their comments. We will however say that if Marvel really doesn’t give a crap about the accuracy of their storylines, the worlds in which they were written, and the realities in which they were published in, then they should never have made The Hulk green or cast Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. George Clooney, Sylvester Stallone, or Brad Pitt would have made for much better one-eyed agents of doom.


  11. Robin

    I’d watch him. I’m admittedly quite curious as to how they would work out the seeming contradictions in this casting choice, but I’m trying to let go of my hangups about accuracy when it comes to movies adapted from (comic) books. I guess this would qualified as “inspired by” instead of “adapted from” the original story? :dunce:

  12. Zom

    I grew up watching wild wild west on t.v. with Robert conrad as Jim west. So when the movie version came out in ’99, with Will smith cast as Jim west, I was like “Dude … what the fuck?” But after about 20 minutes of watching the movie version, I had totally forgotten, that the original James T. West, was a white guy. I guess you can compare it to experiencing something as a blind man for 30 years and then suddenly acquiring sight. It doesn’t really matter to me if he’s black or white, as long as he can fill the roll.
    Did that make sense?

  13. mandy

    Well, I don’t really care about the history of comic storylines the way that I know others do. (cough. freaks. cough.)

    I’d be fine with it, but I’d only go watch it once I knew the reviews were good. Will can make awesome movies. Will can make really sucky movies (thinking about I Robot as I type this).

  14. Sybil Law

    I think Will Smith could make it work, but aren’t there any other people to choose from?! Either way, it wouldn’t necessarily increase my chances of going to see the movie – I only go to movies if I think they will be worth my time and money. Regardless of who’s in them.

  15. bejewell

    Ugh. Does the world really need Will Smith in another action hero role? Really?

    For that matter, does the world really need another action hero film at all?

    Am I the only one a little action heroed out? Can’t we just leave Captain America alone?

    I’m just sayin’.

  16. Kailey

    I’ll probably see it regardless of who they cast. However given the who WWII Nazi Germany thing that is kinda integral to the story…if they cast Will Smith I may wait until it is out on DVD instead of seeing it in the theaters.

  17. Scout's Honor

    Wow! Thanks for the comic book lesson. So I mentioned this to my husband, CG (IE computer geek but he could also be comic book geek apparently) and his first reaction was Captain America is black.

    Hmmm… One of you guys seemed confused.

    He starts telling me that C.A. was the first black comic book super hero. He mentioned something originating in Turkey. He lost me. I mentioned Will Smith and he said that’s perfect. Then he goes to Wikapedia for collaboration and there’s nothing there.

    So is he smoking crack or what? All I know is I lurve me some Will Smith, but he does seem to be playing a bit too many super heroes lately. Give someone else a chance.

    Speaking of chatter on the internet, I keep hearing about Twilight? I’m clueless. Can you give us a lesson on that next? :violent018:

  18. penny

    I will watch it with or without Will Smith, but I would prefer it without him. He is a great action star, but I would like to see someone else in this role. There is enough to deal with when transforming a character and world from comic book to big screen, without throwing a change to the whole dynamic of the character into the mix. I would pick Matt Damon – I think he could do the whole man out of sync with time thing believably. But that’s just me.

  19. Sybil Law

    Nerdy me has been googling this. Apparently it’s all a rumor and he was never approached for the movie, anyway.
    But here’s that black angle: The writer, Robert Morales, has apparently borrowed a page from the real history of the infamous Tuskegee experiments, and begun with the premise that the tall, blond Steve Rogers could not have been Professor Reinstein’s first guinea pig. The fictional idea behind the series is that a supersoldier serum was tested first on black soldiers, who were then pushed aside when the time arrived for the Army to select a blond champion.

  20. Crys

    my first instinct was, HUH? UGH.

    but then i thought about it, and i think it’s the scripts that have marginalized Smith, and certainly not his abilities. i just wouldn’t want this to be turned into another JULY FOURTH WILL SMITH WEEKEND! only to be disappointed ala Hancock.

    this kid needs to make better movie choices. having said that, maybe this movie will do for him what Batman has done for Bale and Spiderman has done for Maguire.

  21. always home and uncool

    Nice package there, Cpt. A. To me, Will Smith seems safe – bankable, likeable, played similar save-the-world roles in “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” etc. I’d go with Justin Long – the Mac guy in the Apple commercials.

    Not that I care. Comic book movie ain’t my thang.

  22. SciFi Dad

    Since I’ve never been a huge Captain America fan, I’m not affected by the leap from tradition. I think Smith is a charismatic actor who will bring a lot to the role, but again since I don’t know the mythology I don’t know if he’ll suit the character.

    As for the disconnect from him being a “race traitor”, I don’t think that’s as big a stretch as you do. Many comic movies have deviated from the original stories (The Joker, for instance, has distinct variances between Batman and The Dark Knight), so as long as the foundation is there (i.e. nemesis for the hero) I think it’ll all work out.

  23. muskrat

    if that’s really the backstory, i don’t think they should use ol’ will. i mean, i like him as an actor and all, and i generally pay to see his movies, but it they’re going to keep the story true to its roots, they gotta find a cracker actor.

  24. Sarah

    I am so over seeing him in everything. He can act I just think in certain movies (ie: I, Robots, Hancock) he tends to rest on his laurels.

    Let’s cast an unknown in this movie and she if it makes his career instead of getting someone not right for the role just to sell seats.

  25. Gwen

    I like to be entertained by movies and little else so have perfected my suspension of disbelief. Also, until this post, I knew nothing about Captain America so it might not have even registered.

  26. Anissa@Hope4Peyton

    As I’m married to a huge comi-geek, I have to share with you HIS deeply profound feelings on Will Smith as Captain America…it’s complete and utter f**king bullsh*t. Apparently something about totally raping the storyline that makes him who he is blah blah blah and how that character is so deeply tied into the era of his childhood blah blah blah and on and on. so i guess, for the sake of the harmony of my marriage I’m going to have to vote no on Smith.

  27. Avitable

    Amanda, I just meant that a more serious Will Smith would be required.

    MunkyMunch, oh, it’s just idle speculation.

    Jared, yeah, but there have been some posts that got me thinking that this could actually be a good idea.

    Stephanie, that’s all I wanted!

    Just Beth, Hancock was awesome, you dick hound.

    BE Earl, you’re missing out. He’s not outdated at all. His revamp in the last few years has led to some amazing books, where he’s had to realize that everything’s not black and white and Americans and Nazis. You should pick up some of the more recent trades.

    Kat, you don’t think he’s hot?

    Maria, I think they could still keep the integral storyline and just make him black. I don’t know, but I’d watch it!

    Cris, Will Smith would be a bad ass Martian Manhunter, but I see Laurence Fishburne in that role instead.

    RW, now he says he’s not a Scientologist – he had a press release about it.

    Manager Mom, that Selma Blair show looks awesome.

    Blondefabulous, that’s one reason I think it would be a good idea.

    Grant, I loved Duncan as the Kingpin.

    Sue, sure! What about Steve Wonder?

    Poppy, I think she was joking.

    Delmer, you’ll be his huckleberry?

    Candy, well, Captain America isn’t really a superhero.

    Sue, I had to think hard at first, though.

    Liquid, not completely, but it just got me thinking even if it did happen.

    NYCWD, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is genius. And in the Ultimate Universe, Nick Fury is black, so that works well. Also, the Hulk started out gray, but he turned green very quickly. I guess I’m not really sure what it is that you’re saying.

    Robin, well, Iron Man was adapted considerably and it turned out very well.

    Zom, totally made sense, and I agree completely.

    Mandy, I, Robot was pretty decent, I thought.

    Dawn, I agree. Except about the delish part.

    Sybil, well, that’s true. He usually chooses good films, though.

    Bejewell, action heroes make the best films.

    Dr. Zibbs, any rationale to back that up?

    Selma, you’re a huge Captain America fan? That’s awesome!

    Kailey, I think having a black actor could make for a more powerful movie in Nazi Germany, too.

    Dutch, he’s too busy smoking pot.

    Sarcastica, well, it’s just a rumor and me idly speculating.

    Hello, sweet.

    Turnbaby, awesome! Can’t wait!

    Kristin, it would be interesting, that’s a definite.

    Scout’s Honor, Twilight is a teen book about vampires by Stephenie Meyer – very good book, though.

    Faiqa, he is one of those people who embodies success, in my mind.

    Scout’s Honor, I think that doing that story about Bradley wouldn’t lend itself to the Captain America storyline for the Avengers movie, but I think that parts of it could be used.

    Suvvygirl, making him black might not change the story that much at all.

    Penny, someone else said Aaron Eckhart – I think he’d be great.

    Sybil, yeah, I know about that story. This would be about Steve Rogers, though.

    HG, the problem is that most comic book characters are white because when they were created, they wouldn’t have been able to make a black hero.

    Crystal, you didn’t like Hancock?

    Lisa, maybe only marginally.

    Whall, hah!

    Kapgar, that’s how I feel, too.

    Always Home, comic book movie doesn’t mean a bad thing. Road to Perdition, The Dark Knight, and A History of Violence – all different types of comic book movies that were outstanding films.

    Karl, you’ve missed out. He’s not boring at all now.

    SciFi Dad, that’s what I was thinking, too.

    Psycho, you’re back!

    Muskrat, the only problem is that there’s no reason he couldn’t be black and still keep to the story.

    Elisa, that’s what I was thinking – he’ll bring a bigger audience.

    Sarah, I thought Hancock was excellent.

    Gwen, that’s exactly the type of opinion I wanted, too – I see that it wouldn’t affect non-geeks at all!

    Marty, or Christian Bale.

    Anissa, I think he’s not thinking clearly about it.

    Winter, maybe he’s got a tiny penis, did you think about that?

    Atomic Bombshell, I agree.

    Jen, that’s a fanfuckingtastic idea!

    Holmes, yeah, it’s just a rumor, but this post is just me ruminating on the idea.

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