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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Poster

Trivia

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Most of the shots were done by an L.A. company called LOLA that specializes in digital "plastic surgery." The technique involved shrinking Chris Evans in all dimensions. They shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Evans and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Evans alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Evans absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Evans's actions in case the second technique were required. When Evans had to interact with other characters in the scene, they had to either lower him or raise the other actors on apple boxes or elevated walkways to make skinny Steve shorter in comparison. For close-ups, Evans's fellow actors had to look at marks on his chin that represented where his eyes would be after the shrinking process, and Evans had to look at marks on the tops of the actor's head to represent their eyes. The second technique involved grafting Evans's head onto the body double. This technique was used mostly when Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical acting was required.
Chris Evans declined the role three times before accepting the part. not out of dislike for the role, but because he feared what the effects of the sudden increase of fame would be on his private life. Then Robert Downey Jr.. convinced him to take the part and thus gain the freedom to sign on any other role he'd want to after. After that, he had a meeting with the director and the producers who convinced him to take the role.
Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for James Logan Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto), who were present during World War II (Logan was a soldier and Lensherr was a prisoner of war). These cameos were scrapped due to rights issues.
Stanley Tucci took the role of Dr. Erskine because the role enabled him to use a German accent, which he always wanted to do.
At the Expo Howard Stark demonstrates his semi-functional "Reversion" technology. It's an obvious precursor to Tony Stark's "Repulsors", perfected for his Iron Man armor. They both even have an orange glow when functioning.
The Captain America comic book shown in the movies bears the cover of the actual Captain America #1 released in 1941.
In the exhibition, there is a mannequin in a red jumpsuit under a glass dome. That is a reference to the android, the original Human Torch, the first superhero created by Timely Comics (October 1939), which eventually became Marvel Comics. He was also part of The Invaders along with Namor and Captain America. Marvel Comics recycled the name and abilities with the Fantastic Four's Johnny Storm (1961). Chris Evans portrayed Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the 'Fantastic Four' films.
Even though the vial of serum stolen by the Hydra agent is broken, another showed up in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to be injected into Emil Blonsky (making him the Abomination). You can even see "Vita-Ray" written on the refrigerated storage container. According to canon many attempts were made to replicate the Super-Soldier experiment, but for a yet-unexplained reason it only ever worked on Steve Rogers.
The wall art hiding the Tesseract at the beginning of the film shows the World Tree, the same concept design that Thor shares with Jane Foster in Thor (2011).
Hayley Atwell based her performance as Peggy Carter on Ginger Rogers: "She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels."
The Asgardians from Thor (2011) are the "Gods" referenced throughout the film.
To prepare for his role as Bucky, Sebastian Stan watched many World War II films/documentaries, and drew inspiration from Band of Brothers (2001).
The shield Captain America uses in the early stages of the film is similar to the one used in the first issue of the Captain America comic. The shield was changed in the comics after publisher of the comic character "The Shield" had complained that Captain America was too similar to their character.
Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is only called the "Red Skull" twice in the movie, first when the Fuehrer's representatives come to shut down Hydra, and second in the letter that is read by the German SS officer from Adolf Hitler.
After Joss Whedon was hired to direct The Avengers (2012) he was given a copy of the film's script and made a few rewrites to tie it more closely to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "I just got to make some character connections. The structure of the thing was really tight and I loved it, but there were a couple of opportunities to find his voice a little bit - and some of the other characters - and make the connections so that you understood exactly why he wanted to be who he wanted to be. And progressing through the script to flesh it out a little bit."
Chris Evans was paid $300,000 to play the title role.
Hugo Weaving based the Red Skull's accent on renowned German filmmaker Werner Herzog and Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer.
Stan Lee's cameo appearance in this film is an exception in the tradition of him appearing in films featuring Marvel Comics superheroes. In this case, Lee had nothing to do with the initial creation of Captain America, but his first story he ever wrote was "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 in 1941, which also had the first appearance of Captain America throwing his shield as a weapon. In addition, he, along with Jack Kirby, was responsible for successfully reviving the character in 1964 in The Avengers #4 and reestablishing him as a major figure in the Marvel Universe.
Hydra's futurist aircraft take their designs from actual WWII German concepts such as the Horten H.XVIII flying wing bomber and Triebflügeljäger fighter plane.
This is Chris Evans' sixth comic book movie after the two Fantastic Four movies, Push (2009), The Losers (2010), and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010). He also voiced Casey Jones in TMNT (2007), also based on a comic book.
The comic version of Captain America's shield is most commonly said to be a mixture of Vibranium and Adamantium. Vibranium = the shield's ability to absorb vibrations; Adamantium = the shield's (near) invincibility. However, because Adamantium is part of the X-Men/Wolverine mythos, which film rights are owned by a different studio, the Adamantium part had to be left out of this version.
During the escape from the HYDRA facility, Dugan and Jones steal a tank. As they drive away, you hear Dugan exclaim "Wahoo!" In the comics, this is the battle cry of the Howling Commandos, of which both men are members.
The red dress that Peggy wears at the second act of the film was designed by Anna B. Sheppard for Mélanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds (2009) but never worn in that film.
Summary of Patient Health Issues (for Skinny Steve Rogers): Asthma, Scarlet fever, Rheumatic fever, Epilepsy, Sinusitis, Chronic or frequent colds, High blood pressure, Palpitations or pounding in heart, Easy fatiguability, Heart Trouble, Nervous trouble of any sort, Has had household contact with tuberculosis patient, Parent/Sibling with diabetes, cancer, stroke or (?).
Johann Schmidt/Red Skull's car was built from scratch over a modified truck chassis. It was 25 feet long and eight feet wide. Its design was inspired by the Mercedes 540K and the Mercedes G4, and included an exposed "supercharger" between the front wheels. The car had a 700 horsepower Drexler engine just to move it. Director Joe Johnston actually took it for a drive: "I drove it myself and it has about a 38-foot turning radius. So it's not a lot of fun to drive. But it looked fantastic. Just a beautiful car."
Captain America's special forces unit he assembles and leads is an amalgamation of the characters of Marvel Comics' World War II period titles. These are the 1960s war title, "Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos" about an elite special forces infantry unit and the 1970s "The Invaders," about a superhero team operating during the war under the command of Captain America. The contributions of the former title include most of the soldier characters, while the latter includes Captain America, Bucky and James Montgomery Falsworth, who appears in the comic book as the British superhero, Union Jack.
When Col. Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), Peggy, and Captain America are chasing the Hydra plane in Schmidt's car, Col. Phillips presses a red button, with the letter K on it and the German words Gefahr Nicht Drucken surrounding it which translates in English to "Danger Do Not Push", sending the car speeding faster down the runway. In the film Men in Black (1997) Tommy Lee Jones' character Kay warns his partner Jay to never "ever touch the red button", and later in the film tells him to "push the little red button" sending their car speeding down a tunnel.
Shields made of different materials were used depending on what was needed for the shot. Rubber shields were used for when Captain America punches people with it. For scenes where he put the shield on his back, magnets were used to keep it in place. In many of the scenes where he is seen throwing the shield, actor Chris Evans would mime out the actions of catching and throwing the shield, with the shield being added later using CGI.
The first Captain America comic makes a cameo in the film. In real life the movie is inspired by the comic book, while in the movie the comic book is inspired by "real life".
Joe Simon, who created the "Captain America" comic in 1941 (before Stan Lee revived it in 1964), was approached to make a cameo appearance in the film.
Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan are about the same height. A camera trick (not CGI) made Captain America looks much taller than Bucky Barnes.
Louis Leterrier viewed some of the concept art for the film, and was impressed enough to offer his services, but Marvel Studios turned him down. However, his film The Incredible Hulk (2008) features a small appearance by Captain America: a deleted scene set in the Arctic features his body hidden in a slab of ice.
Throughout the film, Steve uses a side arm while fighting Skull's forces. In the comics, he used a side arm until realizing that his new shield (that Franklin D. Roosevelt gives him) could be used as a weapon, by throwing it, and it subsequently replaces the side arm.
The villain's name Johan Schmidt is basically a German translation of the English name John Smith - a popular stock name and alias in English and US pop culture.
When the commando team is put together, the French teammate says: ''Moi, je combattrai jusqu'à ce que le dernier de ces bâtards soient morts, enchaînés ou bien pleurent comme un petit bébé.'' Translated, it means: 'I will fight until the last of those bastards are dead, chained or cry like a little baby.' Then his friend replies: ''J'espère que ce sera tous les trois.' ( 'I hope it will be all three.'') ''Moi aussi'' (''Me too'') the first one concludes.
Chris Evans was attracted to the role of Captain America by its character: "Even if it wasn't a comic book. I think the story of Steve Rogers is great. He's a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I would probably want to do it. It wasn't necessarily about the comic itself. He's a great character to play; he just happens to be a comic book character."
The sniper rifle Bucky uses to save Cap is a modified 1941 Johnson rifle, which was adopted in limited numbers by the US Marine Corps.
Sam Worthington and Will Smith were in early talks for the role of Captain America. Later on Garrett Hedlund, Channing Tatum, Scott Porter, Mike Vogel, Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans, Wilson Bethel, John Krasinski, Michael Cassidy, Chace Crawford and Jensen Ackles were on the final shortlist for the role. Kellan Lutz, Ryan Phillippe and Alexander Skarsgård carried out auditions, but ultimately the role went to Evans. Stan eventually secured the role of Bucky Barnes.
Despite being 'The First Avenger', Captain America was not the first avenger in comics. In comics, Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor were the first ones. Only after Hulk left the team, Captain America joined the avengers. However Captain America is the oldest, technically making him the first (to be born).
While Abraham Erskine is still a German defector, the movie adds the additional twist that before defecting, he was forced to test the serum in Germany on Johann Schmidt.
That Steve Rogers sketches costume designs for Howard Stark and is caught doodling pictures of himself as a circus monkey refers to the comics' depiction of Cap's alter ego as an artist since 1979 - he even worked on the fictional Captain America comic book published on Marvel Earth. There is a very similar scene of Steve drawing costumes and caricatures of himself in the 1991 comic miniseries "The Adventures of Captain America" which detailed his origin. This series seems also to have been influential in other ways - for example, the character of Peggy Carter in the film (which is very different from the comics) is reminiscent of Steve's love interest Lt. Cynthia Glass in the miniseries - who there turned out to be a German spy in the end, however.
The final Paramount Pictures film produced with Marvel Studios. Disney bought the rights to The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man 3 (2013).
When Steve discovers the gunmetal circular shield in the development office of Howard Stark, he asks what it's made from. Vibranium is a fictional element in the Marvel universe that comes from the country of Wakanda, the land where The Black Panther, another Marvel superhero, lives.
This is the fifth live-action adaptation of the superhero. The first was the serial Captain America (1944); the second was the TV movie Captain America (1979) and its sequel Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979); and the fourth was the theatrical film Captain America (1990).
Joe Johnston was chosen as the film's director because of his previous work on the period films The Rocketeer (1991) (like Captain America, also an adventure movie) and October Sky (1999).
Director Joe Johnston also directed The Rocketeer (1991). In that film, the hero, Cliff Secord, finds a rocket pack created by Howard Hughes, thus becoming The Rocketeer. In this film Captain America obtains his iconic shield from Howard Stark, a character closely based on Howard Hughes.
James Payton later reprised his role as Adolf Hitler in The Monuments Men (2014).
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To prepare for her role as Peggy Carter, Hayley Atwell trained six days a week.
Edgar Wright had been rumored to have secretly rewritten the film, but he publicly denied this. Wright would soon write his own Marvel Studios film, Ant-Man (2015). Edgar Wright has now left the project of Ant-Man (2015).
Sebastian Stan was considered for the role of Captain America, but got the role of Bucky instead.
Reb Brown and Matt Salinger, who both portrayed Captain American in previous adaptations, separately contacted producers for the opportunity to make cameos in the film.
Despite being "The First Avenger", it is the last solo Avenger film to be released before the team-up film, The Avengers (2012).
Paul Warren (an experienced film double and actor mostly known for roles wearing prosthetics) was used in pre-production to help develop the 'Skinny Steve Rogers' effect by CGI supervisor, Christopher Townsend, as well as one of the 'Skinny Steve' on set stand-ins. English Shakespearean trained stage actor, Leander Deeny, was used as the on set 'Skinny Steve' double when Chris Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical movement was required.
After Howard Stark's demonstration at the exposition, you can hear an instrumental version of "Make Way for Tomorrow Today" playing in the background.
Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Prince of Atlantis, but this was scrapped.
In the first scene with Zola and Schmidt, Schmidt is looking at images of the Tesseract, including one which is a doctored photograph of a section of a famous carved wood doorway from a church in Hylestad, Norway. The actual carving depicts the hero Sigurd helping the smith Regin forge a sword, which Sigurd will use to slay the dragon Fafnir. The Tesseract has been photoshopped in between the two men. A later image appearing behind Schmidt's head when Dr. Erskine is telling Steve about Schmidt seems to represent Sigurd listening to the birds, who tell him to kill Regin and seek the Valkyrie, Brunhild. The Sigurd story is the Norse version of the Siegfried tale, whose operatic realization by Richard Wagner Schmidt listens to; in Wagner's version, Siegfried is the product of incest between Wotan (Odin's) twin children.
Chapter Five of Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Alice Eve, Gemma Arterton and Keira Knightley were considered for the role of Peggy Carter. Emily Blunt turned down the role.
Dane Cook, Kevin Jonas and Joe Jonas auditioned for the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America.
WILHELM SCREAM: Rogers is pursued by Hydra soldiers on motorcycles, but releases a flamethrower defense. One screams as he swerves, loses control and is thrown headlong.
Screenwriter David Self, who wrote a draft of the script, claimed Captain America was his favorite childhood superhero: "My dad told me I could one day be Captain America."
In the room where Stark demonstrates his Reversion technology, you can see behind the audience hanging from the ceiling is a model of a red rocket with a black-and-white checked stripe in the middle. This is the rocket from the Belgian graphic novels "Tintin: Objectif Lune" and "Tintin: On a marché sur la Lune" by Georges Prosper Remi (aka Hergé).
Scarlett Johansson was rumoured to be reprising her role as Black Widow in this movie, but this never came to be.
The design of Red Skull's flying fortress in the climax of the film was heavily inspired by Spriggan, the boss of the Air Battle level in the Nintendo 64 videogame "Aerofighters Assault".
The aircraft used by Howard Stark to fly Captain America behind German lines is a "Beechcraft Model 18" also known as "Twin Beech". It was first built in 1937 and was a true multi-role small transport plane used widely by the Army Air Corps and numerous civil companies for transport of cargo, supply goods and wounded personnel.
Neal McDonough plays a soldier in the 107th Infantry. In Band of Brothers (2001) he played an officer in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which also fought in Europe throughout WWII.
Jon Favreau was originally chosen by Marvel Studios to direct this film (which he intended to make as a buddy comedy), but he chose to direct Iron Man (2008). Nick Cassavetes, was also considered to direct this film, and had been set as a director for Iron Man (2008) in December 2004.
Tommy Lee Jones, who plays Col. Phillips, also appeared as Two-Face/Harvey Dent in Batman Forever (1995). Both Captain America and Batman faced off in the Marvel vs. DC crossover in 1996.
Three actors in this film played characters on Doctor Who (2005) alongside Matt Smith. Toby Jones (Dr. Zola) as the Dream Lord, David Bradley (Tower Keeper ) as Solomon and Jenna Coleman (Connie) as Clara Oswald.
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Hugo Weaving has gone on record stating that he is indifferent to the film and has very little interest in reprising his role as the Red Skull, due to the difficulty of the makeup process involved.
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Richard Armitage and Hugo Weaving would later co-star in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Here, they have no scenes together.
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It is the last Marvel movie to be distributed by Paramount Pictures.
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Up until a very late stage in pre-production, HYDRA would have been a blatantly Nazi paramilitary organization, with swastikas on their uniform. The implication is still present in the final version, however. In addition, deleted scenes also had HYDRA explicitly attacking Nazis in addition to Allied powers.
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Baron Zemo and Baron von Strucker originally appeared as side villains working with the Red Skull, but the writers cut them from the script due to fears that they would be wasted in such small roles. Strucker ended up being used in the post-credits sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), as well as a major role in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
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The teaser poster, with Cap looking down at his shield and the caption "Avenge," was altered by a New England Patriots fan prior to Super Bowl XLVI (2012) to be Tom Brady.
The character Jacques Dernier's name translates from French to English as "James Last."
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Howard Stark finds the lost Tesseract at the end, which leads him to creating blue print designs about the cube's structure and overall power, which can be seen in a case of paperwork that Howard's son Tony looks through in the middle of Iron Man 2 (2010).
When Captain America attacks the base and finds the prisoners, he finds Bucky strapped to a table and very out of it. Later Bucky falls to his apparent doom into the frozen river. In the comics Bucky becomes Winter Soldier, so these events may be setting up his return in a Captain America and/or Avengers sequel. Plus, speaking together with some crosstalk, Joe Johnston, Shelly Johnson, and Jeffrey Ford said on the audio commentary that the experiments performed by Zola enabled Barnes to survive the fall shown in the film.
Red Skull's deformed appearance is explained by his body's rejection of the serum because he was not worthy - the serum drives him even madder. This is exactly what happens in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to Emil Blonsky which leads to his transformation into the Abomination, with the help of gamma rays.
Arnim Zola's first appearance, in the form of his face as an image on a television screen, is evocative of the "classic" comic-book Zola, whose body was a headless hulk containing his preserved consciousness with a viewscreen on its chest displaying an image of his face. When Zola is gathering his papers before the Red Skull self-destructs the base, the schematic for that robot body is visible as he packs it, establishing the possibility of him reappearing in modern times.
When Johan Schmidt is searching for the Tesseract in the beginning of the film, he shoots the man hiding it and blood splatters on his HYDRA pin. The blood only splatters on the skull part of his HYDRA pin, foreshadowing his reveal of him being the Red Skull.
Just before his death, Bucky wields Captain America's shield. In the comics, when Steve Rogers was killed, Bucky took over as Captain America.
There are several references to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), which director Joe Johnston worked on as Art Director:
  • Red Skull's consumption at the hands of the Tesseract is very similar to how the Ark of the Covenent kills the Nazis.


  • Cap throws a HYDRA bad guy into a fighter plane's propeller.


  • After he holds the Cosmic Cube in his hands, Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull makes a comment about how Adolf Hitler "searches the desert for trinkets."


When Bucky takes Steve to the World's Fair near the beginning of the film he says, "We're going to the future" - a foreshadowing that Steve Rogers will actually go to the future at the end of the film.
According to producer Avi Arad, "The biggest opportunity with Captain America is as a man 'out of time', coming back today, looking at our world through the eyes of someone who thought the perfect world was small-town America. Sixty years go by, and who are we today? Are we better?"
When chasing down the Hydra agent after being injected with the super soldier serum, Steve picks up a Taxi Cab door. The cab company is 'Lucky Star Cab Company' - with the name circling the star for a logo - resembling and foreshadowing the iconic shield that Steve eventually wields as Captain America.
Samuel L. Jackson filmed a scene for this movie in New York City's Time Square, which serves as a prelude to The Avengers (2012).
During Captain America's war bond drive, the tank burning in the background of the black and white film is an M5 Stuart tank painted with German insignia. This is correct to 1940's Hollywood film making, as they had no actual German tanks, so they'd paint U.S. vehicles with German sigils.
The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) searches for a powerful artifact, the Cosmic Cube. In Transformers (2007), Weaving voiced the villain Megatron, who also searched for a similar cosmic cube-shaped relic (the AllSpark). Stanley Tucci later appeared in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) in a role similar to his scientist role: he would create the man-made Transformer Galvatron, who was Megatron in a new body.
The scene where the submarine fills up with water was only filmed in three takes due to Richard Armitage's aquaphobia.
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