'Captain America' director: Steve Rogers isn't a 'flag-waver'
July 22nd, 2011
03:17 PM ET

'Captain America' director: Steve Rogers isn't a 'flag-waver'

The name "Captain America" doesn't leave room for a lot of doubts about patriotism. But the director of this weekend's "Captain America: The First Avenger," Joe Johnston, says that this version of the superhero expresses his love of country a little differently.

"We're sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers," Johnston tells the Los Angeles Times. "He’s a guy that wants to serve his country, but he’s not a flag-waver. We’re reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was.”

Captain America - played by Chris Evans in the film - is still beholden to his civic duty, but his desire to serve is more out of a moral sense of right and wrong, Johnston goes on.

"He just wants to serve his country...but he's not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver," Johnston says. "He's just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don't change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are on the inside, that's really what's important more than your strength and everything."

Johnston adds that he thought it'd be "fun" and "interesting" to give the character this kind of twist, and believes that moviegoers - both in the U.S. and abroad - will appreciate Captain America's re-imagined point of view.

“It’s also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing,” Johnston explained. “It’s an international cast and an international story. It’s about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too.”

Filed under: movies

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Jake

    Actually, Captain America is really Canadian:

    July 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Felix

    I see Johnston feels that America is not exceptional and decided to put Obama's spin on the Captain America character. Wants to make a buck and push his liberal BS on us.

    July 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nerd 4

    When someone asks "why is america great?". It seems like most of your answers would be "because it's america". The directors got it right to avoid jingoism. Defining Captain America with themes of civic duty, a strict moral code, and the urge to stand up for what you believe in, is infintely more telling that having Cap blurt "these colors don't run". We're not the "greatest country in the world" simply because "we are". It's because we constantly strive to be.

    And please...please don't be so quick to paint me or anyone else with such views as unamerican or not patriotic. Or atleast before you do, take a few seconds to google mccarthyism.
    Sorry to take bring a movie review so seriously, but things like that irk me to no end.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Um, it's not a twist, that is how Captain America is in the comics. That's way so many people who read and buy comics love him, it's because Steve Rogers is a good man.

    “Doesn’t matter what the press says.  Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say.  Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something is wrong is something right.  This nation was founded on one principle above all else:  the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.  When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move.  Your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world–’no, YOU move.’”–Captain America

    The movie is fantastic and they got it right, but for the writers to pretend like it's some great twist on the character is stupid and misleading. They were faithful to the character and because of it comic fans are happy with the movie. The movie is magnificent, this quote is garbage.

    July 24, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. The Selfish Meme

    Don't front... "fun" and "interesting" ... yeah right.

    Captain America SHOULD be something we're proud of BECAUSE he's an American super hero! America #1! God Bless America! (and I'm an atheist!) USA! USA! USA!

    He SHOULD be a symbol for us to feel good about the USA right now, when everyone's so anti-America wanting its demise. And these liberal hollywood types are part of that oh, Steve Roger is not a jingoist... of course Captain America is part of that. And so what?

    NO I don't appreciate the twist geeks.

    July 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Massive Marbles

    I'm actually looking forward and past this movie to imagine what kind of villain could be so evil, powerful and unstoppable that the AVENGERS would need to join forces to tackle it / him/ her !!!! Bring it on!!!

    July 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Justin

    I guess I'm Nerd 4...

    I'd argue that Iron Man is no more innately super powered than Batman. Yes, Tony Stark has a battery in his chest to keep himself from dying, and while it's there anyway, he uses it to power his suit. But not only is it a liability (if it weren't in his chest, he could STILL use it to power his suit, and losing it wouldn't also kill him), it's something he created using his own intellect/fortune. Batman, similarly, is a gadget-based superhero who largely relies on technology he created using his fortune/intellect. Batman has more physical training than Iron Man, and Iron Man is smarter and has more powerful gadgets, but that's just splitting hairs. Neither has any innate super powers.

    July 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Captain America ROX


    July 23, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ridiculous

    I know it's important for us to often dwell on our patriotism and come out a different person, as it is also important for directors to reinvent movies and make them unique, but this is ridiculous. "It’s also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing" What does that even mean? The spirit "of doing the right thing" IS the American spirit, the two aren't mutually exclusive. His name is freaking "CAPTAIN AMERICA", so how the heck can this movie not be about American spirit!?!? Stand tall people, we don't have to be ashamed of being proud. There has never been ambiguity in Captain America, so why should there be now. There are surely better ways of "reinventing" this movie.

    July 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mitch

    Cap has never been a mindless "flag-waver" – except maybe during the War Years; but everything was at that point in time. Cap has always questioned the government when he felt that he had to – especially since his rebirth in the early 1960's. Anyone who thinks that he's a 2-D piece of propaganda has obviously never read the comics.

    July 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Nerd 2

      July 23, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • the punisher

      Nerd 3 here. Captain America is okay, but my favorite is still Batman. After all, he is the only one who is just human. Superman – alien; Spiderman – radioactive spider; Iron Man – Atomic heart; the list goes on. Batman outwits his opponents. He also has a dark side. He really, really wants to kill the Joker, but he knows it's not the right thing to do.

      July 23, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michaelchatt

    It appears the writers and producers are certainly being more true to themselves than to this character, you know the epic persuit of as much money as possible over truth to the characters or the art. They're just trying to be sketchy about it in order to avoid protests by fans of the character.

    July 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josie

    I bet he could crack a walnut with those cheeks.

    July 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |


    July 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Måd Råp3r

    Those pesky ilberal hollywood types are at it again, they're almost as bad as the republicans.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ahnold

    wasnt there already a superhero like this named Captain Planet?

    July 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  16. NotEdwnc

    Hey, edwnc – I have a few words you can look up in the Urban Dictionary.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  17. edwnc

    @Spencer: ...
    Please google jingoism as you clearly don't understand what it means.
    While you're at it, google 'reading comprehension' as well.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. spencer

    Thank goodness. The last thing we need is a hero who is proud to be American. Perish the thought. I almost thought this movie was about a person who cherished the freedoms provided by a free country. PHWEW! Dodged that bullet. After all, how is Hollywood going to fully recover if their movies include people who love America?

    July 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |

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