“Captain America shouldn’t be a blonde white guy”: Weirdest Marvel Pitch Wanted Dwayne Johnson or Will Smith as the First Avenger

The Captain America pitch that would have had Will Smith or Dwayne Johnson playing The First Avenger.

Starting with the 2011 film, Chris Evans has embodied the iconic Marvel superhero Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has since reprised his role in multiple films. While the actor was initially skeptical about taking on the role, he has garnered immense praise worldwide for his performance in the MCU.

Chris Evans as Captain America

However, before the Knives Out star joined the superhero franchise as The First Avenger, the studio received a pitch to cast actors like Dwayne Johnson or Will Smith to take on the role of Steve Rogers.

Jeff Wadlow’s Pitched A Captain America Film After the Success of Iron Man

Screenwriter and filmmaker Jeff Wadlow shared during an interview that he was highly impressed by the 2008 Rober Downey Jr. starrer Iron Man. The huge success led to the filmmaker’s attempt to pitch a vision for a film following the MCU’s super soldier, Steve Rogers.

The Avengers (2012)

However, his vision included a reimagining of the iconic superhero, which was met with skepticism by Marvel executives. “I came up with a ‘Captain America’ pitch … needless to say, I think my pitch was too far afield from their intentions,” Wadlow said during an appearance on A Trip to the Movies with Alex Zane.

He further shared how his vision for the superhero departed far from the traditional portrayal of the character. The filmmaker wanted to challenge the conventional image of the character as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed superhero, but the studio had other plans.

Jeff Wadlow Wanted to Cast Dwayne Johnson or Will Smith as Steve Rogers

During his interview, Jeff Wadlow argued that the superhero shouldn’t necessarily adhere to the conventional depiction of a blonde, white man, describing it as “an Aryan idea.” And he wanted to make a movie with a more diverse representation on screen.

Jeff Wadlow’s pitch featured Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or Will Smith as Steve Rogers

“Part of my thesis was that Captain America shouldn’t be a blonde white guy,” he said before describing how he wanted to make a film with actors like the King Richard star or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. “Captain America should look like Will Smith or this wrestler named The Rock,” said the Fantasy Island director.

The studio never picked up his pitch, as they went for Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s vision for the superhero and would go on to cast Chris Evans as The First Avenger in the MCU, who embodied the character for almost a decade.

A still from King Richard

However, fans have continued to fancast Johnson and Will Smith in multiple Marvel roles, hoping to see the actors potentially join the MCU in the future. Although they have not been able to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both the A-listers have starred in the DC superhero universe.

Smith portrayed the role of Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, in the 2016 DC film Suicide Squad and Johnson took on the role of titular role of the anti-hero in the 2022 film Black Adam.

The Captain America film series is available to stream on Disney+.

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