Here are 25 Interesting Facts About Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

1-5 Interesting Facts About Captain America

Captain America: The First Avenger

1. Most of the shots were done by an L.A. company called LOLA that specializes in digital “plastic surgery.” The technique involved shrinking Chris Evans in all dimensions. They shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Evans and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Evans alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Evans absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Evans’s actions in case the second technique were required. When Evans had to interact with other characters in the scene, they had to either lower him or raise the other actors on apple boxes or elevated walkways to make skinny Steve shorter in comparison. For close-ups, Evans’s fellow actors had to look at marks on his chin that represented where his eyes would be after the shrinking process, and Evans had to look at marks on the tops of the actor’s head to represent their eyes. The second technique involved grafting Evans’s head onto the body double. This technique was used mostly when Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical acting was required.

2. Chris Evans declined the role three times before accepting the part – not out of dislike for the role, but because he feared what the effects of the sudden increase of fame would be on his private life. Then Robert Downey Jr. convinced him to take the part and thus gain the freedom to sign on any other role he’d want to after. After that, he had a meeting with the director and the producers who convinced him to take the role.

3. Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for James “Logan” Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), who were present during World War II (Logan was a soldier and Lehnsherr was a prisoner of war). These cameos were scrapped due to rights issues.

4. The Captain America comic book shown in the movies bears the cover of the actual Captain America #1 released in 1941.

5. Hayley Atwell surprisingly touching Chris Evans’ chest as he emerged from the pod upon turning into Captain America was very much improvised, and the surprise on her face is genuine, as she admitted in interviews she was very taken by Chris’ physique and nearly broke character and ruined the take that made it into the film as a result.

6-10 Interesting Facts About Captain America

Serum

6. Even though the vial of serum stolen by the Hydra agent is broken, another showed up in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to be injected into Emil Blonsky (making him the Abomination). You can even see “Vita-Ray” written on the refrigerated storage container. According to canon many attempts were made to replicate the Super-Soldier experiment, but for a yet-unexplained reason it only ever worked on Steve Rogers.

7. At the Expo, Howard Stark demonstrates his semi-functional “Reversion” technology. It’s an obvious precursor to Tony Stark’s “Repulsors”, perfected for his Iron Man armor. They both even have an orange glow when functioning.

8. In the exhibition, there is a mannequin in a red jumpsuit under a glass dome. That is a reference to the android, the original Human Torch, the first superhero created by Timely Comics (October 1939), which eventually became Marvel Comics. He was also part of The Invaders along with Namor and Captain America. Marvel Comics recycled the name and abilities with the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm (1961). Chris Evans portrayed Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the ‘Fantastic Four’ films.

9. The wall art hiding the Tesseract at the beginning of the film shows the World Tree, the same concept design that Thor shares with Jane Foster in Thor (2011).

10. Stan Lee’s cameo appearance in this film is an exception in the tradition of him appearing in films featuring Marvel Comics superheroes. In this case, Lee had nothing to do with the initial creation of Captain America, but his first story he ever wrote was “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics #3 in 1941, which also had the first appearance of Captain America throwing his shield as a weapon. In addition, he, along with Jack Kirby, was responsible for successfully reviving the character in 1964 in The Avengers #4 and reestablishing him as a major figure in the Marvel Universe.

11-15 Interesting Facts About Captain America

Triebflügeljäger fighter

11. Hydra’s futurist aircraft take their designs from actual WWII German concepts such as the Horten H.XVIII flying wing bomber and Triebflügeljäger fighter plane.

12. Summary of Patient Health Issues (for Skinny Steve Rogers): Asthma, Scarlet fever, Rheumatic fever, Epilepsy, Sinusitis, Chronic or frequent colds, High blood pressure, Palpitations or pounding in heart, Easy fatigability, Heart Trouble, Nervous trouble of any sort, Has had household contact with tuberculosis patient, Parent/Sibling with diabetes, cancer, stroke or (?).

13. During the escape from the HYDRA facility, Dugan and Jones steal a tank. As they drive away, you hear Dugan exclaim “Wahoo!” In the comics, this is the battle cry of the Howling Commandos, of which both men are members.

14. Chris Evans was paid $300,000 to play the title role.

15. Despite being ‘The First Avenger’, Captain America was not the first avenger in the comics. In comics, Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor were the first ones. Only after Hulk left the team, Captain America joined the avengers. Nor is Captain America the oldest, as Thor is centuries older.

16-20 Interesting Facts About Captain America

16. The comic version of Captain America’s shield is most commonly said to be a mixture of Vibranium and Adamantium. Vibranium gives the shield the ability to absorb vibrations; Adamantium gives the shield (near) invincibility. However, because Adamantium is part of the X-Men/Wolverine mythos, which film rights are owned by a different studio, the Adamantium part had to be left out of this version.

17. Hugo Weaving has gone on record stating that he is indifferent to the film and has very little interest in reprising his role as the Red Skull, due to the difficulty of the makeup process involved.

18. Johann Schmidt/Red Skull’s car was built from scratch over a modified truck chassis. It was 25 feet long and eight feet wide. Its design was inspired by the Mercedes 540K and the Mercedes G4, and included an exposed “supercharger” between the front wheels. The car had a 700 horsepower Drexler engine just to move it. Director Joe Johnston actually took it for a drive: “I drove it myself and it has about a 38-foot turning radius. So it’s not a lot of fun to drive. But it looked fantastic. Just a beautiful car.”

19. Shields made of different materials were used depending on what was needed for the shot. Rubber shields were used for when Captain America punches people with it. For scenes where he put the shield on his back, magnets were used to keep it in place. In many of the scenes where he is seen throwing the shield, actor Chris Evans would mime out the actions of catching and throwing the shield, with the shield being added later using CGI.

20. Captain America’s Special Forces unit he assembles and leads is an amalgamation of the characters of Marvel Comics’ World War II period titles. These are the 1960s war title, “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos” about an elite special forces infantry unit and the 1970s “The Invaders,” about a superhero team operating during the war under the command of Captain America. The contributions of the former title include most of the soldier characters, while the latter includes Captain America, Bucky and James Montgomery Falsworth, who appears in the comic book as the British superhero, Union Jack.

21-25 Interesting Facts About Captain America

Sebastian Stan

21. Sebastian Stan was considered for the role of Captain America, but got the role of Bucky instead.

22. Throughout the film, Steve uses a side arm while fighting Skull’s forces. In the comics, he used a side arm until realizing that his new shield (that Franklin D. Roosevelt gives him) could be used as a weapon, by throwing it, and it subsequently replaces the side arm.

23. Up until a very late stage in pre-production, HYDRA would have been a blatantly Nazi paramilitary organization, with swastikas on their uniform. The implication is still present in the final version, however. In addition, deleted scenes also had HYDRA explicitly attacking Nazis in addition to Allied powers.

24. Scarlett Johansson was rumored to be reprising her role as Black Widow in this movie, but this never came to be.

25. The design of Red Skull’s flying fortress in the climax of the film was heavily inspired by Spriggan, the boss of the Air Battle level in the Nintendo 64 video game “Aerofighters Assault.”

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Last Update: April 25, 2016

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