Joe Johnston To Helm ‘The First Avenger: Captain America’

Joe Johnston has been hired to direct one of the next Marvel Studios films, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The First Avenger: Captain America will feature the star-spangled Avenger and will reportedly take place entirely during World War II. Due for release May 6, 2011, Captain America will also act as a lead in (along with Thor and Iron Man II) to the team-up film The Avengers (slated for July 15, 2011). In the Marvel Comics universe Captain America was frozen in the arctic at the end of WW II and then found and revived by the Avengers in the fourth issue of their original comic book series. I’m likewise expecting Cap to wind up on ice at the end of his solo film, only to rise again in the present during The Avengers. Seems like the most plausible scenario.

As far as the choice of director, I like Joe Johnston, but I can’t say I’m overly excited by his directing style. Jurassic Park III was not a horrible sequel and Jumanji was entertaining. I do think The Rocketeer is a pretty exceptional movie and, as that is based on a comic book, it does inspire confidence that he has the sensibilities to adequately handle Captain America. I suppose I have unfairly thought of Johnston as a junior George Lucas as he did learn his craft at Lucasfilm firmly under Lucas’ wing. I still need to see Hidalgo and it is probably worth re-watching his previous films, so I will still keep an open mind. Ultimately, I find the choice acceptable, but just not inspired compared to the other directors Marvel has recently chosen to shepherd their latest comic-to-screen adaptations. What do all of you think?