The US actor Chris Evans has seen off fierce competition to land the role of Captain America in the forthcoming comicbook blockbuster from Marvel Studios, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Evans had been at the centre of speculation for weeks, but was finally confirmed over the Easter holiday weekend as the man to don the character's patriotic red, white and blue Spandex suit.

The American Office's John Krasinski and Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford, along with Michael Cassidy (The OC), Patrick Flueger (The 4400), Scott Porter (Bandslam), Wilson Bethel (Generation Kill) and Mike Vogel (Cloverfield) were reportedly among the disappointed hopefuls for the film, which is being directed by The Wolfman's Joe Johnston from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

According to reports, The First Avenger: Captain America is set partly in the 1940s – where sickly young man Steve Rogers is given an experimental serum which transforms him into a superhero with incredible strength – and partly in the present day. Hugo Weaving will play the hero's Nazi nemesis, the Red Skull.

It will be the second Marvel-based role for 28-year-old Evans, who co-starred as Johnny Storm – aka the Human Torch – in two Fantastic Four films for Twentieth Century Fox. Marvel, whose film-making arm is now owned by Disney, previously worked with other organisations to bring its characters to cinemas. But since 2008 it has embarked on its own ambitious big-screen programme, which has so far seen outings for Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Captain America, Thor, and a movie based on the superhero ensemble The Avengers, are currently in development.

The First Avenger: Captain America will shoot in the UK for a July 2011 release date. Evans is reportedly contracted for up to three films, plus spin-off appearances in The Avengers and other Marvel movies. Romanian-born American actor Sebastian Stan has already been confirmed in the role of the captain's regular sidekick, Bucky Barnes.



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