How Jon Favreau’s Captain America could have been different from Iron Man
Jon Favreau, who helped kick off the MCU with Iron Man, also wanted to make Captain America, which could have made a dramatically different movie.
Jon Favreau helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 2008s Iron Man, but he also wanted to do the first Captain America movie, which could have been quite different. Jon Favreau’s take on Tony Stark in 2008 was a game-changer, with an impeccable cast and a reimagined origin story for Iron Man that graced the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comics while modernizing the classic character. 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger was the MCU’s final Phase 1 solo film, introducing Steve Rogers to the MCU in a beautifully retro and heartfelt flick from legendary director Joe Johnston. The first one Captain America the film has been eclipsed by its successors, but it is perhaps the most serious film in the MCU, and it may have been radically different if it had been directed by another director.
Compared to The Avengers cinema and Iron Man sequels, the 2008 Jon Favreau film told a little personal story, having more in common with the famous Sam Raimi film Spider Man movies as future MCU installments. Iron Man explored the humanity of Tony Stark, showing his epiphany after a near-death experience and balancing the dark subject with plenty of humor, much of which was improvised by Robert Downey Jr. The movie never ended. too far removed from his comedic roots, gaining the approval of Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee, who has applauded the film in several interviews for its aptness to its comics. Iron Man’s humor, Marvel Easter Eggs, and post-credits setup for future films set the tone for the rest of the MCU franchise.
2011 Captain America came out at a time when risky, ambitious, team-up film anticipation, The Avengers, was reaching its peak. Captain America ignored the cynicism of modern audiences and told Steve Rogers’ origin story with refreshing sincerity. With Joe Johnston directing the film, The first avenger had so much in common with Star wars and The Raiders of the Lost Ark like that of Sam Raimi Spider Man and that of Favreau Iron Man. Although he was quickly eclipsed by the 2012 film that changed genre, The AvengersCaptain America remains one of the most underrated movies in the MCU and hands down the best cinematic representation of the comics from Marvel’s Golden Age of the 1940s.
Jon Favreau wanted to do Captain America
The recently released book The History of Marvel Studios: The Creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe delves into the history of Marvel Studios and the MCU in the aftermath of the first three phases, now known as The Infinity Saga. Before the MCU debuted in the 2008s Iron Man, Jon Favreau was in talks with Marvel to make their first film in this ambitious project. Although Favreau’s style is perfect for Iron Man in hindsight, he didn’t have a specific superhero at the start. According to the book, Favreau asked Marvel to let him know if he was running Captain America.
Although Favreau ended up directing the first two Iron Man movies (much to the delight of critics and fans alike), it’s fascinating that he initially wanted to work more on Captain America. For better or worse, Iron Man wasn’t as well-known as Captain America, when it comes to classic Marvel heroes. While Iron Man was an integral part of the Marvel Universe after his debut (with Stark technology and funding frequently recognized throughout the Marvel Universe), Captain America was an icon whose popularity went beyond the crowd of comic book readers. Captain America was, after all, the first Marvel superhero to appear in theaters, with the 1944 Captain America serial.
How Jon Favreau’s tone would change the First Avenger
Jon Favreau’s tone for the Iron Man movies was very different from that of Joe Johnston Captain America movie. While very accurate to its comedic source material, Iron Man opted for a realistic look and feel, translating classic Lee and Kirby characters and concepts into the most realistic depiction possible. In a way, this only increased the comedic precision of the film, as the Silver Age Marvel stories sought to create characters that readers could believe to be real, and in some cases even see themselves. Johnston Captain America perfectly recreated the look of comics from Marvel’s Golden Age, but a Favreau version of the film would have been completely different.
Jon Favreau is known for his sense of humor, especially in his two Iron Man films, and he is cited in History of Marvel Studios like the feeling that “a funny and funny angle”Could be used for a Captain America movie. While Joe Johnston’s film featured plenty of comedic moments, Favreau would have had more, perhaps focusing on Steve Rogers, once a sickly and shy art student, getting used to his now superhuman body and his colorful character after getting his powers. While a Captain America Favreau would likely be much more comedic than Johnston’s (and potentially less serious), Favreau also understood Tony Stark’s humanity and would certainly portray Steve Rogers’ naturalism as well as Johnston’s film.
Favreau’s Iron Man was broken, but so was Cap
Another renowned aspect of Favreau Iron Man films was his focus on Tony Stark’s flaws and weaknesses. Like so many other aspects of the films, it coincided with the Lee and Kirby comics, establishing an all-too-human superhero who came from a dubious past and sought to right his past mistakes. That just wasn’t the case for Captain America in the MCU. Though imperfect and unmistakably human, Steve Rogers intentionally represented the best of humanity. Steve’s characterization in The first avenger didn’t become a hero state of mind, since he already had one from the start. Instead, the experience that gave Steve Rogers his powers ultimately made his body match his mind, allowing him to help people more effectively than ever.
Favreau may not have taken this approach. Steve Rogers was orphaned by the events of The first avenger, and although he had a longtime best friend in Bucky Barnes, he might have an understandable degree of resentment and anger towards his status in life before gaining his powers. Steve was intimidated and despised by most for much of his life, and he might have felt powerless to stop the Nazis (who embodied everything he was against) without his powers. Jon Favreau, in addition to adding more comedy to his hypothetical Captain America movie, could have given Steve a more traditional character arc, making him become the paragon he’s famous for with his powers, making it an ultimately different movie from the Iron Man movies.
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