It seems to be all but official that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing one of its first and
brightest stars. After he finished filming for the secretive and as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, Chris Evans—who has been playing Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers in the franchise since 2011—stated in a cryptic tweet that he will be stepping away from the role.
Given the nature of his character and the bizarre multimedia franchise he's now involved it, it is likely that Steve Rogers willdie in the upcoming film, leaving the role of Captain America up for grabs. Fans are already scrambling to figure out which of the many comic characters to take up the mantle is set for the MCU treatment and, more importantly, who would be playing them. Here are our top five picks.
1. SEBASTIAN STAN
Jared Siskin, Getty Images for Gersh
This one seems the most likely as not only would it be keeping more accurately to the comics, but Bucky Barnes making the transition to become Captain America would be the logical summation of his character growth. The MCU has basically been setting up his ascension to the role since the scene in Captain America: The First Avenger when he first picked up the iconic shield.
2. ANTHONY MACKIE
The Falcon and Captain America shared a series and a billing for years as equal partners, making it one of the most racially progressive moves and relationships in comics at the time. Later in comic lore, Falcon inherited Cap's shield when the latter's super soldier serum wore off and he aged exponentially. As Sam Wilson, Mackie would be well within his rights to hold the star shield.
3. KEKE PALMER
Paras Griffin, Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment
In the future of the Marvel universe of the comics, the role of Captain America is taken up by Danielle Cage, the daughter of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Both Luke and Jessica already exist in the MCU, played by Mike Colter and Krysten Ritter, but they have yet to have their baby.
However, if Avengers 4 uses a time travel McGuffin as many suspect it will, there's a chance we could see what their adult child would look like in the star-spangled suit. If we do, Keke Palmer looks like almost a perfect fusion of the two Netflix actors and could certainly pull off the red, white, and blue.
4. DENZEL WASHINGTON
In the comics, before the final version of the super soldier serum was used to transform Steve Rogers into Captain America, prototype versions were used on African Americans with varying degrees of willingness in a blatant nod to the tragic Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Of those tested on, only Isaiah Bradley survived.
While not frozen in ice, Bradley's serum slowed his aging to the point where he is still alive and empowered in the current comic continuity. It wouldn't be too much of a leap in logic for the MCU to retroactively declare that there was a second, African American Cap ready to take over
if Rogers ever died. If they do, Denzel Washington would be an ideal choice to play him as Marvel has discussed roles with him before.
5. RYAN PHILLIPPE
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
One of the people to take the moniker of Captain America was John Walker, a wannabe American war hero who operated under the name U.S. Agent. After Steve Rogers went rogue during the events of Civil War, Walker was approached with an offer to be the new Captain America. While he served very briefly in the role, he proved to be a much more violent and brutal version of the character.
A veteran of military shooter films and television shows, Ryan Phillippe might be a good choice to play a more militaristic, bloodthirsty Cap.
While hardcore fans thoroughly enjoyed Solo: a Star Wars Story for its dedication to the series's internal lore, wider audiences felt indifferent toward the film. It was a much-needed reminder that while nerd culture has effectively become mainstream, it is not so encompassing that audiences will accept any offering from a well-known sci-fi franchise.
For most people, Han Solo is cool because Harrison Ford had an effortless charm that made him instantly iconic. While actor Alden Ehrenreich did an admirable job in Solo, bringing the space smuggler to life, he was no Ford. Fortunately, technology might have the answer to tweaking the film.
Derpfakes is a YouTube channel that uses AI to digitally transpose new features over existing performances. In this instance, they used footage of a young Harrison Ford from his early films American Graffiti and The Conversation to eerily bring his presence to Solo. The composing software doesn't quite clear the uncanny valley, but the end result is impressive nonetheless.
In the 1950s and 1960s, horror movies were making studios huge profits on shoestring budgets. But after the market hit horror overload, directors and studios had to be extra creative to get people to flock to theaters. That's when a flood of different gimmicks were introduced at movie theaters across the country to make a film stand out from the crowd. From hypnotists to life insurance policies and free vomit bags, here's a brief history of some of the most memorable horror movie gimmicks.
1. PSYCHO-RAMA // MY WORLD DIES SCREAMING (1958)
In order to truly become a classic, a horror movie can't just work on the surface; it has to get deep inside of your head. That's what Psycho-Rama tried to achieve when it was first conceived for My World Dies Screaming, later renamed Terror in the Haunted House. Psycho-Rama introduced audiences to subliminal imagery in order to let the scares sink in more than any traditional film could.
Skulls, snakes, ghoulish faces, and the word "Death" would all appear onscreen for a fraction of a second—not long enough for an audience member to consciously notice it, but it was enough to get them uneasy. Obviously Psycho-Rama didn't really catch on with the public or the film industry, but horror directors, like William Friedkin in The Exorcist, have since gone on to use this quick imagery technique to enhance their own movies.
2. FRIGHT INSURANCE // MACABRE (1958)
Director William Castle didn't make a name for himself in the film industry by directing cinematic classics; instead, he relied on shock and schlock to help fill movie theater seats. His movies were full of what audiences craved at the time: horror, gore, terror, suspense, and a heaping helping of camp. But his true genius came from marketing—and the gimmicks he brought to every movie, which have since become legendary among horrorphiles.
His most famous stunt was the life insurance policy he purchased for every member of an audience that paid to see Macabre. This was a real policy backed by Lloyd's of London, so if you died of fright in your seat, your family would receive $1000. Now who wouldn't want to roll the dice on that type of deal? Of course, the policy didn't cover anyone with a preexisting medical condition or an audience member who committed suicide during the screening. Lloyd's had to draw the line somewhere, right?
3. HYPNO-VISTA // HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959)
How do you make your routine horror movie stand out from the crowd? Hypnotize your audience, of course. Thus Hypno-Vista was born. For this gimmick, James Nicholson, president of American International Pictures, suggested that a lecture by a hypnotist, Dr. Emile Franchel, should precede Horrors of the Black Museum, which had a plot focusing on a hypnotizing killer.
For 13 minutes, Dr. Franchel talked to the audience about the science behind hypnotism, before attempting to hypnotize them himself in order to feel more immersed in the story. Nowadays it comes off as overlong and dry, but it was a gimmick that got people into theaters back in 1959. Plus, writer Herman Cohen said that eventually the lecture had to be removed whenever the movie re-aired on TV because it did, in fact, hypnotize some people.
4. NO LATE ADMISSION // PSYCHO (1960)
Though this isn't the most gimmickiest of gimmicks, Alfred Hitchcock's insistence that no audience member be admitted into Psycho once the movie started got a lot of publicity at the time. The Master of Suspense's reasoning is less about drumming up publicity and more about audience satisfaction, though. Because Janet Leigh gets killed so early into the movie, he didn't want people to miss her part and feel misled by the movie's marketing.
This publicity tactic wasn't completely novel, though, as the groundbreaking French horror movie Les Diaboliques (1955) had a similar policy in place. This was at a time when people would simply stroll into movie screenings whenever they wanted, so to see a director—especially one so masterful at the art of publicity—who was adamant about showing up on time was a great way to pique some interest.
5. FRIGHT BREAK // HOMICIDAL (1961)
Another classic William Castle gimmick was the "fright break" he offered to audience members during his 1961 movie, Homicidal. Here, a timer would appear on the screen just as the film was hurtling toward its gruesome climax. Frightened audience members had 45 seconds to leave the theater and still get a full refund on their ticket. There was a catch, though.
Frightened audience members who decided to take the easy way out were shamed into the "coward's corner," which was a yellow cardboard booth supervised by some poor sap theater employee. Then, they were forced to sign a paper reading "I'm a bona-fide coward," before getting their money back. Obviously, at the risk of such humiliation, most people decided to just grit their teeth and experience the horror on the screen instead.
6. THE PUNISHMENT POLL // MR. SARDONICUS (1961)
The most interactive of William Castle's schlocky horror gimmicks put the fate of the film itself into the hands of the audience. Dubbed the "punishment poll," Castle devised a way to let viewers vote on the fate of the characters in the movie Mr. Sardonicus. Upon entering the theater, people were given a card with a picture of a thumb on it that would glow when a special light was placed on it. "Thumbs up" meant that Mr. Sardonicus would be given mercy, and "thumbs down" meant … well, you get the idea.
Apparently audiences never gave ol' Sardonicus the thumbs up, despite Castle's claims that the happier ending was filmed and ready to go. However, no alternative ending has ever surfaced, leaving many to doubt his claims. Chances are, there was only one way out for Mr. Sardonicus.
7. FREE VOMIT BAGS // MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970)
Horror fans are mostly masochists at heart. They don't want to be entertained—they want to be terrified. So when the folks behind 1970's Mark of the Devil gave out free vomit bags to the audience due to the film's grotesque nature, how could any self-respecting horror fan not be intrigued? It wasn't just the bags that the studio was advertising; it also claimed the film was rated V, for violence—and maybe some vomit?
8. DUO-VISION // WICKED, WICKED (1973)
Duo-Vision was hyped as the new storytelling technique in cinema—offering two times the terror for the price of one ticket. Of course Duo-Vision is just fancy marketing lingo for split-screen, meaning audiences see a film from two completely different perspectives side-by-side. In the 1973 horror film Wicked, Wicked, that meant watching the movie from the points of view of both the killer and his victims.
Seems like a perfect concept for the horror genre, right? Well, Duo-Vision wasn't just employed during the movie's most horrific moments; it was used for the movie's entire 95-minute runtime. The technique had been used sparingly in other films—most notably in Brian De Palma's much better film Sisters (1973)—but it had never been implemented to this extent. A little bit of Duo-Vision apparently goes a long way, because it fell out of favor soon after.