And last, but certainly not least, here is our conversation with Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige on the set of Captain America: The First Avenger:
Q: How much of a role does Bucky play in the movie, and how much do you guys set up for the eventual Winter Soldier storyline?
Kevin Feige: He's a main character in the movie. He is his best friend throughout the whole course of the film. We don't do too much, directly, but he's not a 13-year-old camp mascot with a mask, and he does use a sniper rifle occasionally.
Q: You mentioned the international concerns. How serious a concern is it that Captain America doesn't play as well outside the United States?
Feige: Well, there's been research that the studio's been working on that shows it's not as big a concern as pessimists would think. I think they're just being conscious of it. Frankly, like any of the Marvel characters, it's about Steve Rogers. It's the emotion you get when you see that kid, who up to that point in the movie you will have seen as a very scrawny young guy for the first act of the film, coming out of the pod like that, the wish fulfillment, hopefully identifying with him, regardless of the fact that he'll wear red, white and blue throughout the film.
Q: My instinct would be to have a big orchestral piece for this.
Feige: Of course. If any score screams out for a big orchestral piece it's this, and that's what Joe wants.
Q: How earnest was the tone for this?
Feige: It's earnest when it needs to be, I think. Some of what you saw in there was earnest, but I wouldn't say it's overly earnest. On the flip side, I wouldn't say it's overly jokey just because we want to get some zingers in. It doesn't play like that. Much of the humor from the first half comes from how out of place Steve is. There's a whole sequence between when he's selected for the program, and when he actually goes to Brooklyn for the procedure. He's not quite as agile as the other candidates. There's some humorous moments in there, but this is not Chris Evans being Mister One-Line. The script that these guys have written over the last two years has humorous moments, has fun where appropriate. A lot of this comes from Bucky and the other commandos, all in appropriate moments.
Q: Are there challenges to placing this film in the larger Marvel cinematic universe?
Feige: Not really, because this is where it all starts. There are a number of things that were retconned over the years, like Howard Stark's participation around that same program that they did in the books, decades later, so it was almost laid out for us. We've tied in Skull's MacGuffin, and given it a cosmic, so to speak, origin, that you don't necessarily learn in this film, but again most of that is right out of the books. In that sizzle piece we talk about how the movies connect, not that we'll do that in the marketing at all, of the movies, but to retailers, people who think "Iron Man sold on my toy shelves last year, this is connected to that, this'll sell too. Buy the toys." I think all the movies will stand on their own.
Q: In terms of franchise potential for the characters, presumably anything you do following on from this won't be set in World War II?
Feige: Well, not necessarily. If audiences tell us they're exhausted with it, then maybe, but this movie, taking place over almost three years, two or three years, we don't see everything Cap and Bucky did over that time period. We track his very specific Hydra, Skull-oriented missions over those two-and-a-half, three years, but you'll see many, many gaps that can be filled later, specifically so we can go back and explore. I love the way [Ed] Brubaker, the first few pages of one of the comics, will be a World War II adventure, and inform whatever his present day adventure is. I think that could be a fun model if we should be so lucky to do two or three of these.
Q: Can you talk a little about choosing the costume, because it's a big part of the character like most Marvel superheroes, but I really like how you're incorporating a lot of World War II into the outfit. Can you talk a bit about exploring the different things, like when you decided to kick the wings off the head and stuff.
Feige: We wanted to track it – he's had so many cool outfits in the comics of late, like in Ultimates, like in the [Bryan] Hitch run, even the modern day, with straps, with pouches, with things that made it less foam-rubber, spandex of the '90s – taking him through a journey from what establishes the costume in USO, to his very first adventure in it in that Hydra factory, to the final version. He has the assistance of Howard Stark, which allows him to have maybe slightly heightened elements, like the helmet, than would have been appropriate in the period. But Anna [Sheppard] our costume designer did an amazing job of making it feel period. The same with [The Invaders] we upped them just a little bit, so they weren't just standard soldiers standing next to him, but when there were hordes of other soldiers behind them, it all feels of a period.
Q: How much of the movie is going to feature the Howling Commandos?
Feige: Almost the whole second half.
Q: So there'll be a men on a mission vibe to the movie, it won't just be Cap running around?
Captain America: The First Avenger opens in 3D and 2D theaters on July 22. You can watch the new trailer here and visit our photo gallery by clicking here!