Yes, shooting the Captain America movie in London sounds ironic, but it made sense to Marvel Studios. The Los Angeles Times has published some more details on why the studio made the decision. Here are excerpts from the article:
The upcoming movie from Marvel Studios was originally to be filmed in Los Angeles. Instead, "Captain America: The First Avenger," starring Chris Evans, Samuel Jackson and Hugo Weaving, will shoot this July in London, where the story is partially set.
But the studio, which was acquired by Walt Disney Co. last year, concluded that London was the best location for "Captain America," largely because the story is set in Europe and will feature a number of scenes in London such as Piccadilly Circus, and also because of favorable tax incentives.
Though Marvel could have done the stage work in L.A. and shot exteriors in London, it wasn’t economically feasible to split the production between two locations, given the heavy filming required in Europe, said Marvel Studios co-President Louis D’Esposito, who oversees physical production.
D’Esposito, who was recently recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for his efforts to keep production in Hollywood, said he had strongly considered L.A.
"I actually had location scouts here to see what could be done,” he said. "But it would have required so much visual-effects work and set construction, it didn’t make sense."
D’Esposito acknowledged that Britain’s film incentive, which offers a 20% to 25% payable tax credit on qualified expenditures, was another factor. Marvel could not apply for a tax credit from California’s program because the film’s budget, in the $140-million range, would make it ineligible, said D’Esposito, who personally lobbied California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to enact a film tax program, which took effect last year. California’s program excludes films costing more than $75 million.
You can read the full article here.