Speculation as to who would play the iconic character has been all over the web since 2008. The studio explored several age brackets and list-levels (A thru D), considering: Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Ryan Phillippe, Dane Cook, Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy), John Krasinski ("The Office"), Chace Crawford ("Gossip Girl"), Sebastian Stan ("Gossip Girl"), Chad Michael Murray, Scott Porter ("Friday Night Lights"), Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Wilson Bethel ("The Young and the Restless"), Ryan McPartlin (Captain Awesome on "Chuck"), Michael Cassidy ("Smallville" and "The OC"), and Patrick Fluger ("The 4400").
But in the end, Chris Evans beat them all. Most people know the 28-year-old Bostonian from Fantastic Four where he plays another superhero, Johnny Storm. I actually became a fan one random Saturday afternoon while trying to zip through Cellular, so I wouldn't miss my rental due date. I was cleaning my bedroom, barely paying attention, and before you know it, I was sitting on the corner of my bed, literally at the edge of my seat, and completely engrossed in the thriller. He proved right then that he could handle high-intensity scenes of suspense and action. Then when he got the Fantastic Four role, he proved that he had a sense of humor and he could be a sex symbol, making him a perfect leading man.
Evans may not have had much luck with subsequent films, but he's shown enough star power—without being a tabloid whore or controversial—to get a studio to back him on a brand new franchise. No pressure. The First Avenger: Captain America is set for 2011. Not everyone is excited about seeing him slip on the suit. So I'm a little worried that the films he's chosen to appear in before then will dissuade the naysayers further. I'm all for the geeky hacker he'll play in The Losers this April, but I'm already cringing at the sight of his campy tough guy in Michael Cera's teen action comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which comes out this August. He might be able to recover from it though after he plays a lawyer in the healthcare-related dramatic indie Puncture, a male escort in the romance-seeking drama Satisfaction opposite Sharon Stone, and a love interest in the comedy What's Your Number? opposite Ana Faris. Fingers crossed.
Now that they've got their man, the producers are on the prowl for his leading lady. It seems like they're in the market for a beautiful Brit—even though the character Peggy Carter is an American—because Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt, and Alice Eve (She's Out of Your League) are being considered. Let's see, it's obvious Joe Johnston, the director, has Blunt on his list because he just worked with her on The Wolfman. Eve gets name-checked for being the new hot Brit in town. Meanwhile, Knightley proved herself tremendously in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, King Arthur, and Domino. Can you think of another British import that might be able to woo Evans and isn't opposed to superhero films? Hmm, Carey Mulligan might be too highbrow for this sort of thing. Kate Beckinsale and Rachel Weisz are too old. Emma Watson is too young. Mischa Barton is too...(comment removed). If they do pick between those three ladies, then I hope Eve gets the role. They need a fresh face that won't distract from the mythology, which is important in an origin story. Besides, she can pass for an American more, because of her blonde hair.
But if they do opt for an American instead, I say they consider Jessica Biel, even though she and Evans have a romantic past. We already know she looks good in uniform from seeing (or not seeing, lol) Stealth. Although, I do wonder if Sarah Michelle Gellar could pull off playing second fiddle in a comic adaptation. I mean, can Buffy still hack it?