(At around thirty-seven minutes) Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) surprisingly touching Chris Evans' chest, as he emerged from the pod upon turning into Captain America, was very much improvised, and the surprise on her face is genuine, as she admitted in interviews she was very taken by Chris' physique and nearly broke character and ruined the take that made it into the film as a result.
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 afterwards. After that, he had a meeting with director Joe Johnston and the producers, who convinced him to take the role.
Most of the shots were done by a Los Angeles 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 and actresses in the scene, once with Evans alone in front of a greenscreen, 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' actions in case the second technique was required. When Evans had to interact with other characters in the scene, they had to either lower him or raise the other actors and actresses on apple boxes, or elevated walkways to make "skinny Steve" shorter in comparison. For close-ups, Evans' fellow actors and actresses 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' 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.
Originally, cameo appearances were planned in the film for James "Logan" Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), who were present during World War II (Logan was a soldier and Lehnsherr was in an internment camp). These cameos were scrapped due to rights issues.
The comic book that appears in the film bears the cover of the first issue of the actual Captain America Comics, cover-dated March 1941. The cover in this movie is modified from the original version to remove its depiction of Bucky, due to the movie version of the character differing from his (considerably younger) comic counterpart.
Howard Stark finds the lost Tesseract at the end, which leads him to creating blueprint 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).
(At around eleven minutes) 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 Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
Red Skull's deformed appearance is explained by his body's rejection of the serum, and because he was not worthy, the serum drives him even madder. This is exactly what happened in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to Emil Blonsky when he's injected with the serum, which leads to his transformation into the Abomination.
(At around six minutes) The wall art hiding the Tesseract at the beginning of the film shows the World Tree, the same concept design that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shared with Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in Thor (2011).
(At around one hour and two minutes) During the escape from the H.Y.D.R.A. facility, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan (Neal McDonough) and Gabe Jones (Derek Luke) 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.
(At around twelve minutes) At the Expo, Howard Stark demonstrates his semi-functional "Reversion" technology. It's a precursor to Tony Stark's "Repulsors", perfected for his Iron Man armor. They both have an orange glow when functioning.
The comic book 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 Twentieth Century Fox, the Adamantium part had to be left out of this version.
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, Chris Evans would mime out the actions of catching and throwing the shield, with the shield being added later, using CGI.
Unlike some of his other fellow actors and actresses, who play parts in the film, Chris Evans didn't have to audition for the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America, since the filmmakers were desperate to have him play the part.
(At around eight minutes) 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 (?).
Despite being "The First Avenger", Captain America was not the first avenger in the comics. In the comics, Ant-Man, The Wasp, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor were the first ones. Only after The Incredible Hulk left the team, Captain America joined The Avengers. Nor is Captain America the oldest, as Thor is several centuries older.
Hugo Weaving has gone on record stating that he is indifferent to the film. He said that he was happy for the experience, but it was not the type of film that he normally preferred. He indicated to have very little interest in reprising his role as the Red Skull, also due to the difficulty of the make-up process involved.
Johann Schmidt/Red Skull's (Hugo Weaving's) car was built from scratch over a modified truck chassis. It was twenty-five 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 thirty-eight-foot turning radius. So it's not a lot of fun to drive. But it looked fantastic. Just a beautiful car."
After Joss Whedon was hired to direct The Avengers (2012), he was given a copy of this movie's script, and made a few re-writes 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."
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.
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 book. The shield was changed in the comic books, after publisher of the comic character "The Shield" had complained that Captain America was too similar to their character.
(At around forty-three minutes) Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is only called the "Red Skull" twice in the movie. First, when the Fuhrer's representatives come to shut down H.Y.D.R.A., and second, in the letter that is read by the German S.S. Officer from Adolf Hitler.
(At around one hour and thirteen minutes) When the commando team is put together, Jacques Dernier (Bruno Ricci) said: ''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 Gabe Jones (Derek Luke) replied: ''J'espère que ce sera tous les trois." ("I hope it will be all three.'') ''Moi aussi'' (''Me too'') the first one concludes.
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 President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives him) could be used as a weapon, by throwing it, and it subsequently replaces the side arm.
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."
(At around one hour and two minutes) When in the tank, Gabe Jones (Derek Luke) tells Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan (Neal McDonough) he studied three semesters of German at Howard, and then switched to French, because the girls were much prettier. In the German version, he says he studied mechanical engineering at Harvard, but not for long, because the girls were so ugly.
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 killed the Nazis. -Captain America throws a H.Y.D.R.A. 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 for trinkets in the desert."
Captain America's special forces unit that he assembles and leads, is an amalgamation of the characters of Marvel Comics' World War II period titles. These are the 1960s war title, "Sergeant 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.
(At around fifty minutes) 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 filmmaking, as they had no actual German tanks, so they'd paint U.S. vehicles with German sigils.
(At around one hour and thirty-five minutes) When Colonel Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), Peggy (Hayley Atwell), and Captain America (Chris Evans) are chasing the H.Y.D.R.A. plane in Schmidt's (Hugo Weaving's) car, Colonel 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 Men in Black (1997), Tommy Lee Jones' character "K" warns "J" 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. Ironically, his character's name in that movie was "K", while the button his pushes to make the car go faster in this movie has the letter "K" on it.
Louis Leterrier viewed some of the concept art for this movie, 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.
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?"
Up until a very late stage in pre-production, H.Y.D.R.A. 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 H.Y.D.R.A. explicitly attacking Nazis in addition to Allied powers.
In the beginning of the movie, Johann Schmidt, while gazing at the tesseract, says "...And the Führer digs for trinkets in the desert." This is reference to another Paramount Pictures movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Director Joe Johnston was part of the Academy Award winning visual effects team from Industrial Light & Magic on that film.
Stan Lee made a cameo appearance as a General. The officer sitting next to him was played by Reb Brown, who played the title character in Captain America (1979) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979).
Steve Rogers sketches costume designs for Howard Stark, and is caught doodling pictures of himself as a circus monkey, refers to the comic books' 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 mini-series "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 this movie (which is very different from the comic books) is reminiscent of Steve's love interest Lieutenant Cynthia Glass in the mini-series, who there, turned out to be a German spy in the end.
Howard Stark's flying car made an appearance on Agent Carter (2015), finally in perfect working order. The vehicles were also used by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents in the Marvel Comics Universe (made by Tony Stark), and appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013).
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 on-set as the "skinny Steve" double when Chris Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical movement was required.
(At around eleven minutes) 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 (a.k.a. Hergé).
(At around seventeen minutes) In the first scene with Armin Zola (Toby Jones) and Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), Schmidt is looking at images of the Tesseract, including one, which is a doctored photograph of a section of a famous carved wooden 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. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) is telling Steve about Schmidt seems to represent Sigurd listening to the birds, who tell him to kill Regin, and seek the Valkyrie, Brünnhilde. 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's (Odin's) twin children.
Edgar Wright had been rumored to have secretly re-written the film, but he publicly denied this. Wright wrote his own Marvel Studios film, Ant-Man (2015), but left the film before it was finished, due to a falling out with Marvel.
Steve's throwaway line, "I'm a Captain!" is his actual comic book military rank. Unlike most superheroes with military titles, Captain America is an officer in the U.S. Army, and in various storylines, his real identity is known by high-ranking members of the government and military.
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.
WILHELM SCREAM: (At around one hour and thirty minutes) Rogers is pursued by H.Y.D.R.A. soldiers on motorcycles, but releases a flamethrower defense. One screams as he swerves, loses control, and is thrown headlong.
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 U.S. Army Air Corps and numerous civilian companies for the transport of cargo, supply goods, and wounded personnel.
The huge plane at the end is known as a "flying wing", all wing, no fuselage, and no tail. Companies began experimenting with them back in 1910, and during World War II, the Americans, Canadians, Germans, Russians, and British all tried out prototypes, but none really ever made it to operational status. The first truly operational flying wing was the Northrup-Grumman "B2 Spirit" stealth bomber.
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.
At the "Modern Marvels" exhibition, Steve (Chris Evans) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) pass by what appears to be a man in a red suit submerged in water. The sign above includes the name "Doctor Phineas Horton". It is a reference to the original android Human Torch, who, along with Captain America and the Sub-Mariner, were the three major heroes in Atlas (later Marvel) Comics of the 1940s. Additionally, Chris Evans played the Human Torch in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) searches for a powerful artifact, the Cosmic Cube. In Transformers (2007), Weaving voiced Megatron, who also searched for a similar cosmic cube-shaped relic (the AllSpark). Stanley Tucci appeared in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), in a role similar to his scientist role. He created the man-made Transformer Galvatron, who was Megatron in a new body.
(At around one hour and fifty minutes) When Steve Rogers runs into Times Square, and is surrounded by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, behind Nick Fury is a large advertisement for Baskin-Robbins. The same franchise, at which, Scott Lang (Ant-Man (2015)) gets a job, after his release from prison.
Captain America does not possess any supernatural powers. The Super-Soldier serum that was used to transform him brought him to the absolute upper limits of a human's potential. Any chance of replicating this effect was lost with him, making him the only Super Soldier in history.
Hugo Weaving and Stanley Tucci appeared in the Transformers film franchise. Weaving voiced Megatron in Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Tucci played Joshua Joyce in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014).
In the beginning of the movie, Red Skull is portrayed wearing a masked version of what is assumed to be his previously skinned appearance before he took the Super Soldier serum. He later takes off the mask to reveal his red, scorched-looking flesh, once referring to it as being "burned". Hugo Weaving appeared in V for Vendetta (2005) as V, an anarchist who wears a Guy Fawkes mask for several reasons, including hiding large-area burns covering his body.
Jenna Coleman later went on to star as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who (2005). Hayley Atwell had expressed interest in playing The 13th Doctor when Peter Capaldi announced his departure from the series, but, the part was given to Jodie Whittaker.
During his training, Steve Rogers pulls the pin out of the flagpole, enabling him to grab the flag and a ride back to base. Unfortunately, that also means that the flag hits the ground, which is a big mistake - you never let a flag, standard or banner touch the ground, because that dishonors it; the only time it can touch the ground is if you die defending it.
The average World War II American soldier was 5'8" tall and weighed in at one hundred forty-four pounds. Captain America stands at 6'2" tall, weighing in at two hundred forty pounds, making him significantly larger than most military men at the time.
In Cap's first real mission in Italy freeing his best friend Bucky Barnes of the 107th from the H.Y.D.R.A. Base, when he releases the "Howling Commando Squad", Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan (Neal McDonough) turns while every one is leaving the cell, and said, "what , now we release everyone?!" Morita (Kenneth Choi) retorts "I'm from Fresno ace!" All the U.S. Army knew, especially those serving in Italy, the battalion of Japanese-American soldiers were stationed in Italy , were the most decorated battalion in World War II. Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan should know this, being a Howling Commando.
Chris Evans is the fourth actor to play Captain America. Following Matt Salinger in Captain America (1990), Reb Brown in Captain America (1979) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979), and Dick Purcell in Captain America (1944).
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 graphic novel "Tintin goes to the Moon" by Georges Prosper Remi (aka Herge).
Stan Lee: (At around one hour and twelve minutes) Military dignitary at a medal ceremony for Captain America. He is also the older gentleman saying: "I thought he'd be taller", when Captain America fails to show up at Senator Brandt's ceremony. This is Lee's only cameo in a feature film adaptation of a Marvel Comics superhero character where he was not an original creator. However, he did create the element of Captain America using his shield as a returning throwing weapon in an early text story in Captain America Comics #3, "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge". Furthermore, he was responsible for reviving the character in the 1960s, first as a member of The Avengers, and then in a solo series which focused on the hero being a troubled man out of his time after years of being in suspended animation.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Even though the vial of serum stolen by the H.Y.D.R.A. 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. In Captain America: Civil War (2016), it is revealed that several other super soldiers were eventually created during the Cold War (with a similar-looking serum stolen from Howard Stark), but the process left them aggressive and impossible to control. 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.
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 comic books, Bucky becomes the Winter Soldier, so these events set up his return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 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.
(At around seventeen minutes) 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 (at around one hour and three minutes), the schematic for that robot body is visible as he packs it, establishing the possibility of him reappearing in modern times (which is what happened in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)).
(At around eight minutes) When Johann Schmidt is searching for the Tesseract in the beginning of the film, he shoots the man hiding it, and blood splatters on his H.Y.D.R.A. pin. The blood only splatters on the skull part of his H.Y.D.R.A. pin, foreshadowing his reveal of him being the Red Skull.
(At around thirty-nine minutes) When chasing down the H.Y.D.R.A. 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.
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 brief role in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), while Zemo became a villain in Captain America: Civil War (2016) (although not as a H.Y.D.R.A. agent).
(At around one hour and eighteen minutes) 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. Before starring in Black Panther (2018), Black Panther made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War (2016), where he is the only one who can damage Steve's shield, since his Panther suit is also made from vibranium.
(At around eleven minutes) When Bucky takes Steve to the World's Fair near the beginning of the movie, he says, "We're going to the future", a foreshadowing that he and Steve Rogers will actually go to the future at the end of the movie.
It was rumored Scarlett Johansson would appear as Natasha Romanov a.k.a. Black Widow in this movie. It would have been most likely that her role would have been Amanda Righetti's role as the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent pretending to be Steve's nurse at the end of the movie.
Red Skull enters New York City as a target for his end game. On the display, the word "Ziel" appeared, which is German for "target". It is also the Dutch word for "soul". In Avengers: Infinity War (2018) we discover Red Skull to have become the guide to the Soul Stone after his seeming demise in this movie caused by the Space Stone inside the tesseract.