Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures,[a] it is the fifth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Joe Johnston, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, and Stanley Tucci. During World War II, Steve Rogers, a frail man, is transformed into the super-soldier Captain America and must stop the Red Skull (Weaving) from using the Tesseract as an energy source for world domination.
In New York City, Steve Rogers is rejected for World War II military recruitment due to his various health and physical problems. While attending an exhibition of future technologies with his best friend, Sgt. James "Bucky" Barnes, Rogers again attempts to enlist. Overhearing Rogers' conversation with Barnes about representing his country in the war, Dr. Abraham Erskine allows Rogers to enlist. He is recruited into the Strategic Scientific Reserve as part of a "super-soldier" experiment under Erskine, Colonel Chester Phillips, and British MI6 agent Peggy Carter. Phillips is unconvinced by Erskine's claims that Rogers is the right person for the procedure but relents after seeing Rogers jump on a grenade to save his comrades, unaware that it is a test. The night before the treatment, Erskine reveals to Rogers that Schmidt underwent the procedure prematurely and suffered permanent side-effects.
Schmidt and Dr. Arnim Zola harness the energies of the Tesseract, intending to use the power to fuel Zola's inventions, mounting an offensive that will change the world. Schmidt discovers Erskine's location and sends assassin Heinz Kruger to kill him. Erskine subjects Rogers to the super-soldier treatment, injecting him with a special serum and dosing him with "vita-rays". After Rogers emerges from the experiment taller and more muscular, an undercover Kruger kills Erskine and flees with a vial of the serum. Rogers pursues and captures Kruger, but the assassin avoids interrogation by committing suicide with a cyanide capsule. With Erskine dead and his super-soldier formula lost, U.S. Senator Brandt has Rogers tour the nation in a colorful costume as "Captain America" to promote war bonds while scientists study him and attempt to reverse-engineer the formula. In 1943, while on tour in Italy performing for active servicemen, Rogers learns that Barnes' unit was MIA in a battle against Schmidt's forces. Refusing to believe that Barnes is dead, Rogers has Carter and engineer Howard Stark fly him behind enemy lines to mount a solo rescue attempt. Rogers infiltrates the fortress of Schmidt's Hydra division, freeing Barnes and the other prisoners. Rogers confronts Schmidt, who removes a mask to reveal a red, skull-like visage that earned him the sobriquet "the Red Skull". Schmidt escapes and Rogers returns to base with the freed soldiers.
Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury, the director of the super-spy agency, S.H.I.E.L.D. Kenneth Choi appears as Jim Morita, a Japanese-American member of Rogers' squad of commandos. Choi said he was the last actor to audition for the part and that he read sides from Saving Private Ryan. About his preparation for the role, Choi said, "[I] did a lot of WWII research especially in regards to the 'Nisei' soldiers, or Japanese-American soldiers. I wanted to get as much true, real-life information for a guy like Jim Morita fighting in WWII. I felt that if I had built a factual basis for him, I could then let go and permit the character to exist in the Marvel Universe, which allows for a lot of imaginative circumstances." Bruno Ricci stars as Jacques Dernier, a French member of Rogers' squad of commandos. Ricci auditioned for and got the part while filming the French series The Hawk. JJ Feild appears as James Montgomery Falsworth, a British member of Rogers' squad of commandos. Feild called his part in the film "a very physical job. I play one of the Captain's sidekicks so I've been running around shooting things and blowing things up and trying to look cool for about a year." Additionally, Richard Armitage portrays Heinz Kruger, the Red Skull's top assassin, Lex Shrapnel portrays Gilmore Hodge, a candidate for the super soldier program, Michael Brandon portrays Brandt, a United States Senator who recognizes the PR potential of Captain America. Jeff Goldblum had originally been approached to play the part; he later played Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. David Bradley appears as the church keeper where the Tesseract is held. Natalie Dormer portrays Lorraine, a private who attempts to seduce Rogers, and Jenna Coleman appears as Connie, Bucky's date at the World Expo. Laura Haddock, who would go on to portray Meredith Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, has a brief appearance as an autograph seeker. Writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn jokingly claimed that this was Peter Quill's grandmother. Stan Lee has a cameo appearance as a general.
"[Captain America] wants to serve his country, but he's not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver. He's just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don't change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are inside, that's really what's important more than your strength and everything... It's also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing. It's an international cast and an international story. It's about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too."
In May, Toby Jones entered final negotiations to play Arnim Zola. Iron Man director Jon Favreau said a younger Howard Stark would appear in the film, played by Dominic Cooper. Atwell revealed that Tommy Lee Jones would have a role in the film. By June, Neal McDonough was in talks to play Dum Dum Dugan. Four days later, he confirmed he was taking the part. The same day, Stanley Tucci joined the cast as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist who created the super-soldier serum. In November 2013, McDonough revealed that he is signed to appear in multiple projects for Marvel, not limited to films.
At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, some footage that had been shot in the previous week was shown at the San Diego Convention Center. The first television advertisement aired during Super Bowl XLV on the Fox network in the United States. Paramount paid $3 million to run the 30-second advertisement. The first full trailer was released in March 2011. In May 2011, the USO girls from the film performed aboard the USS Intrepid at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum as a part of the 2011 Fleet Week celebration in New York City. In June 2011, Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins teamed with Marvel to search for real-life super-soldiers. The contest sought nominations for veterans or active U.S. servicepersons making a difference where they live or serve. In July 2011, Paramount Pictures promoted the film during an Independence Day celebration hosted by the Chicago White Sox. Promotional partners include Harley-Davidson, Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.
Walker correctly surmises the Kaiju as being part of the "American Kaiju Project" - another failed attempt to create the super-soldier serum. A failure, but too potentially useful to abandon completely, the Kaiju was contained below the town of Ephraim and later provided the source of the serum used to grant Katie and Saint their powers - a serum that is revealed to be the only thing keeping Saint alive after prolonged use of it altered his DNA. On the Helicarrier, Saint, wielding the original vibranium U.S. Agent shield, confronts Katie in an attempt to stop her and save the town. Katie reveals to Saint that she considers her brother a joke, that she can do better, and that she manipulated Saint as the new U.S. agent to gain access and powers of her own that she will use to stop government lies and corporate manipulation as America's newest super patriot. The two fight and Saint uses the distraction caused by Walker steering the Kaiju into the helicarrier to stop Katie with a bullet to the head from his pistol. Landing on the helicarrier, Walker attacks Saint for his role in injuring Battlestar and indoctrinating his sister, to which Saint responds that it was Katie who manipulated him and that her motive had been to replace Walker as U.S. Agent. The helicarrier crashes and Saint drags Walker from the wreckage before collapsing due to overuse of the Kaiju serum at which point Walker retrieves the original U.S. Agent shield for himself. Later Val Cooper informs Walker that his sister survived her gunshot wound and has been moved to a psych ward for treatment. Cooper also reveals that Katie's story about their brother committing suicide was a lie and a result of her psychosis. Cooper expresses that Walker might actually be more useful without official government status, which Walker interprets as him being able to break the rules and act with impunity and without oversight, also refusing to return the shield despite it being official government property.
In October 1943, Barnes met other Allied POWs, including Jacques Dernier and James Montgomery Falsworth. During his imprisonment in the facility, he was viciously beaten by Lohmer, however, other prisoners organized an "accident" which resulted in Lohmer's death. Barnes and his friends worked on parts of the Valkyrie. When Barnes became too weak to continue, he was taken to serve as a test subject for Arnim Zola's super soldier experiments and received Zola's recreated version of the Super Soldier Serum. 2b1af7f3a8