Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Captain America’s title change News and another TV spot trailer.

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It’s been months since the change of title in some countries from Captain America: The First Avenger, to The First Avenger made headlines, especially in his native USA. Yet still there’s a lot of nonsense being talked about. First there’s this idea that this change is in several countries; well it is in three, yes THREE. It has always been just three and it’s not going to be any more. (Well unless the film manages to get released in China and they want the name chance.)

But here’s what I didn’t know before; Paramount (who are distributing the film for Marvel Studios, as they did Thor and Iron Man I & II) didn’t decide to make the title change, rather they offered the international markets both titles and let them decide, based on their knowledge of their own markets, sensibilities and what was likely to help or hinder ticket sales. Only three markets, Russia, Ukraine & South Korea, opted to use ‘The First Avenger’ title, with all of the others believing the recognition factor of the character outweighed any negative association with ‘America’ in the title. Reasons for the change in the three countries that did take that option haven’t been given, but Cultural & Political reasons apparently the cause; but I mean that’s pretty obvious really.

My take on the whole issue is that I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that this was an offer made by a sensitive and sensible distributor Paramount) taking the considered opinions of those in the know, rather than some panicked decision from an office in New York or L.A. I fully understand the concerns and the need to get people through the door so they can see what Captain America is all about; which isn’t American politics, or American foreign policy, but about the abstract American dream, the “all men are created equal”, everyone has rights and should be free to live their lives, as long as that doesn’t mean stepping on other people along the way. Now I read Captain America comics when I was growing up, but I came to the character through The Avengers. I liked him and sought out is individual comics.ut I canhonestly say there’s a fair chance I would bnever have bothered to pick up this comic about a guy dressed in an American flag, who I would have assumed was pushing all things American, all the time. It’s that, especially in counties where there may be stronger feelings about not supporting something that perhaps is giving the impression that Americans are “better than us”, that is being avoided. The film (if it has been well made) will show what Captain America is actually about.

To illustrate the point, the storyline that was running when I started reading Captain America comics involved a scheme by shadowy government types to coerce Captain America into rejoining the military and working for the government. This would of course involve him ‘enforcing’ American foreign policy and being associated with whatever political party was in power at the time. He refused, as it would dilute what he stood for and mean that he would be seen as standing for America the country, not America the ideal. It meant he had to give up being Captain America, although he did get a swanky new Black, red & White costume and a new shield. (Well he got two, the first one was from Tony Stark, but they fell out so he gave it back and got one from The Black Panther instead.) He dropped a word from his title then too; he was simply The Captain.

Captain America: The First Avenger rolls out from the 22nd...

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