The Challenges of Casting a Superhero

As Marvel Entertainment prepares its next big superhero franchise, Captain America: The First Avenger, people are speculating about who will play the star-spangled hero.  Many bloggers have been offering their opinions on the actors rumored to be in the running for the coveted role, my favorite being The Nerdy Bird's coverage, so here's my two cents (keep the change).  Without a doubt, I think the best person to bring Captain America to life on the big screen is Jensen Ackles.

Unlike many of the others being considered for the part, Ackles looks like the comic book version of Steve Rogers who becomes our nation's defender during World War II after being injected with the "super-soldier" serum and then becomes a man out of time, facing a changed America when he enters our modern era after being revived from suspended animation. 

Ackles has proven he can portray the "All-American" type as Jason Teague for a season on Smallville, and as Dean Winchester on Supernatural he has clearly shown his range, from his humorous side to his dark side, all personality traits that should be on display in a well-rounded, faitful characterization of Captain America. Jensen Ackles embodies all of that better than any of the other young actors whose names have been mentioned.

I have written before about my wish to finally see a live action version of one of Marvel's greatest heroes.  Captain America has the potential to be a metaphor for some great stories about the world we live in now, taking the superhero genre to new levels. 

All that depends of course on the movie's script and especially the casting of the lead.  Will whoever wins the role of Captain America be as perfect as Christopher Reeve's Superman, Bill Bixby's Hulk, Linda Carter's Wonder Woman, Wesley Snipe's Blade, Tobey Maguire's Spider-man, and Robert Downey, Jr.'s Ironman?  Will he create initial doubts but then win over fans' hearts like Michael Keaton's Batman and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine?  Or will he be as uninspired as Ben Affleck's Daredevil or Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider, and be a part of a major disaster like Halle Berry's Catwoman or Jennifer Garder's Elektra?

A positive sign that the project is off to a good start would be if the moviemakers heed my advice and cast Jensen Ackles as Captain America.