Captain America Will Face Red Skull

As director Joe Johnston continues to talk up The Wolfman on the press circuit, the topic we naturally all want to know about is Captain America? Yup, he's currently being peppered with queries about The First Avenger, and seems only to happy to answer 'em, ladling out nuggets of info here and there, including about the film's villain and setting.

He's talked before about setting the film in World War II, and now it looks like he's focusing on a period origin tale with bookends set in other eras and an appearance by an Nazi icon of the comic. We will see the Captain America villain, the main villain, the Red Skull, he tells Hitfix. But it's the origin story. It's how he became Captain America in World War II. There are present-day bookends, but it's really... it's his origin story. And we decided you only get one shot at telling an origin story, so you might as well tell it first.

Johnston and his team have also come up with a creative excuse for the uber-patrotic costume sported by the hero, who is an ordinary Joe (or Steve, in this case) turned into a super-soldier by an experimental military program.

Talking to the LA Times, he explained the rationale. "The costume is a flag, but the way we're getting around that is we have Steve Rogers forced into the USO circuit. After he's made into this super-soldier, they decide they can't send him into combat and risk him getting killed. He's the only one and they can't make more. So they say, 'You're going to be in this USO show' and they give him a flag suit. He can't wait to get out of it. So he's up on stage doing songs and dances with chorus girls and he can't wait to get out and really fight.

''When he does go AWOL, he covers up the suit but then, after a few things happen, he realizes that this uniform allows him to lead. By then, he's become a star in the public mind and a symbol. The guys get behind him because he embodies something special."

The director is also not that worried about the pressure to blend his story with the planned Avengers team-up Marvel has set for the future. It's like any other project. You read the script, you decide how you're going to do it, tell the best possible story. Then they'll take The First Avenger story and incorporate it into the bigger franchise, you know? I'm not worried about that. We have a great story and a great script, and we have the resources to do it right. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. We're shooting in the UK because most of the story takes place in Europe. We're casting now, and then we start shooting in June.

One last piece to shove into place? A man to fill the costume - expect that news soon...

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