Did A Marvel Movie Pitch Really Cast Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson As Captain America?

Did A Marvel Movie Pitch Really Cast Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson As Captain America?

Did A Marvel Movie Pitch Really Cast Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson As Captain America?


Before Chris Evans was tied down as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Captain America, one screenwriter envisioned Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the star-spangled hero. Evans had worries before signing on as Captain America, but his performance as the meek Steve Rogers was met with critical acclaim upon release. However, if screenwriter Jeff Wadlow had gotten his way, another A-lister would have played Captain America. 

In an interview with "A Trip to the Movies with Alex Zane," Wadlow recounted how he requested his manager set up a meeting with Marvel Studios after being blown away by "Iron Man." "I came up with a 'Captain America' pitch … needless to say, I think my pitch was too far afield from their intentions," he said. The screenwriter discussed his concept, highlighting how it went against the iconic hero's established mythos. "Part of my thesis was that Captain America shouldn't be a blonde white guy. That's an Aryan idea. Captain America should look like Will Smith or this wrestler named 'The Rock.' Ultimately, they had different plans."

Wadlow's pitch never manifested, as Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige would go on to greenlight Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely's pitch for "Captain America: The First Avenger." The duo has written several MCU hits, including every Captain America movie and "Avengers: Endgame" — a film that made Evans break down in tears. 


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson could have been an interesting Captain America

Did A Marvel Movie Pitch Really Cast Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson As Captain America?


Perhaps the most interesting component of Jeff Wadlow's pitch is the hypothetical casting of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Captain America. In the late 2000s, Johnson started to embrace his A-lister status as an actor, starring in films like "Get Smart" and "Race to Witch Mountain." By the 2010s, he emerged as a superstar thanks to appearances in franchises like Fast and Furious and Jumanji. It's unknown if Wadlow's Johnson-centric "Captain America" pitch went further than the conceptual stage, but it stands out as an intriguing "what if?" for Marvel Studios. The superstar eventually stepped into the shoes of Black Adam for DC, a film he admits fizzled. 

Hiram Garcia, Johnson's creative partner, discussed how the actor is always interested in stepping into Marvel's world. "DJ and [Marvel Studios President] Kevin [Feige] have a great relationship and we've flirted around a few ideas before, but nothing serious," he told Collider. "There's a mutual admiration for what we each have been doing and what Kevin has built over there is truly incredible." 

In a way, Wadlow's "Captain America" pitch was prescient. After Evans retired from the role following "Avengers: Endgame," the mantle was passed to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), making him the first live-action African-American Captain America. Wilson embracing his new role is a key part of the Disney+ series "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" and the character headlines the movie "Captain America: Brave New World."

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