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The Case for Mark Valley to Play Captain America

Written by: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageThe Avengers can't assemble without Captain America, but he hasn't been cast yet.  CC2K kindly offers this recommendation.

By now you are likely aware of Marvel's movie plans.  No, I'm not talking about rebooting Spider-Man, rather their plans to finally bring The Avengers to the big screen in a live-action film.  Iron Man was a huge success, and we're all eagerly awaiting the sequel with Robert Downey Jr. re-inhabiting the role of Tony Stark later this year.  Chris Hemsworth has been cast as the Norse god of thunder, and Thor is currently in production.  The Incredible Hulk accomplished the goal of rebooting that character, and Edward Norton is rumored to be involved in the Avengers movie in some way (ally? villain?).   And don't forget we also already have Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.  But before the Avengers can assemble in a new film slated for 2012, there are plans for a Cap-centric film, The First Avenger: Captain America.  But that can go nowhere until an actor is found to don the red, white, and blue.  So who should be cast?  My vote is for Mark Valley.  Read on to found out why.

First of all, just look at him.  The blue eyes, the light colored (and easily dyed blond) hair, the strong, square jaw.  He already has the look of Steve Rogers/Captain America going for him.  And while Valley is a handsome guy, I'd qualify him as being ruggedly so.  Other names that have been rumored for this role include Jason Lewis and Matthew McConaughey, but these guys are both just too pretty for the role.  Captain America should have a look that intimidates enemies more than it makes the ladies swoon.  Plus if you saw the premiere of Valley's new television series on Fox (Human Target) you can attest that he has a lean, powerful physique that would serve him well playing the recipient of the experimental Super-Soldier serum.

For those of you who think Valley is too old for the role (he's 46), I'd offer this.  Robert Downey Jr. is 45.  Edward Norton is 41.  Samuel L. Jackson is 62.  The actor playing Captain America not only has to hold his own in scenes with these men, he (assuming the film stays true to the comics) needs to be able to believably assume (or at least contend for) a leadership role in the group.  Other younger actors that have been (or could be) associated with role include Jensen Ackles (32) and Channing Tatum (30), or another 20-something, popular with the teen crowd actor.  IMHO, this would be a mistake.  Casting a young actor in the role would either completely change his interactions with the Avengers (a brash Captain America that bucks authority?) or would permeate scenes with an "in over his head" vibe a la Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace (okay that's not really fair, but you get my point, right?).  Let me just say it would take one helluva young actor to go toe-to-toe with RDJ and Jackson, and I'm skeptical one will be found.  Valley, on the other hand, doesn't suffer from those potential problems.  His age would bestow Captain America with the aura of an experienced, battle-hardened veteran that he should have. 

Related to that last idea, Captain America is supposed to be as much a symbol (if not more so) of American patriotism than Superman.  The actor portraying Cap should be able to convey that sense of duty and honor simply by breathing.  Aside from the fact that Valley is an actual, real-life graduate of the United States Military Academy who served in the Army during the Gulf War, Valley's body of work would be a boon in this regard.  He's not enough of a star that his real-life persona would compromise his integrity in the role with audiences, and (likely unintentionally) he's built a resume damn-near tailored for the role of Captain America. 

Some people might know him from his appearances on Boston Legal as the straight-laced marine-turned-lawyer Brad Chase.  Others might recognize him from his brief stint on Fringe as FBI Special Agent John Scott.  And then there's the afore-mentioned new series Human Target, in which Valley plays the lead character Christopher Chance, a heroic body guard and security expert.  Do you see a pattern here?  I sure do, and it's one that would be just under the surface of viewers' minds.  Josh Holloway could be a good physical match for Cap, but he's so firmly established himself in as the self-serving, duplicitous Sawyer on Lost that it would be hard to accept him playing so against type.  And regarding Jason Lewis, do you know what people think of when they see Jason Lewis? 

That's the guy from Sex and the City who had to pretend to be attracted to Kim Cattrall.  Acting ability aside, is that what you want to be thinking of when you finally get to see Captain America on the big screen?


Who do you think should be cast as Captain America?  Sound off in the forums!

Author: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer

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