Jon Hamm Versus Will Smith

5 05 2009

Jon Hamm Versus Will Smith

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. Next up, we look at the powerhouse blockbuster-making man-of-the-year Hollywood VIP movie star Mr. July, Will Smith.

Will Smith’s name has easily been tossed around for the role of Captain America/Steve Rogers since about 1996. And it’s pretty safe to say just about every Hollywood studio has put the Fresh Prince’s name at the top of their casting list for nearly every greenlit script since then. It’s just like when you’re a kid and you put “President of the United States” at the top of your fantasy list of jobs you would like to hold. And like the problems most studios face, odds are if you don’t have enough cash you’re not going to get the top job.

The benefit to Will Smith is that he has the A-List clout to do basically any movie he wants at any time. If you look at his IMDB page, there isn’t one completed project in there that you haven’t heard of. Meanwhile Samuel L. Jackson has six times the credits and his Q rating is probably has a two-digit percentage disadvantage to Smith’s.

So could Will Smith make Captain America? Sure, if he wanted to. But as past evidence shows us, it’s basically a heavily passed around rumor. He’s already had modest success as Hancock, which should also have a sequel in the next few years. Plus, Smith likely doesn’t want to get tied down to a specific character in a franchise. Would the “true fans” accept a black Steve Rogers? I think so. There would be some unrest until the movie actually came out, like how goofballs complained that the heroes in the first X-Men movie weren’t going to wear their ‘traditional’ costumes. But then the movie came out and the change worked and no one gave a crap that Wolverine didn’t go around killing dudes while adorned in a yellow Spandex costume. Comic book purists (read: white folks) would accept Will Smith eventually, but I will concede that he’s likely the only black man they could see in the role. Sorry, Omar Epps.

Anyway. Like Brad Pitt, Will Smith commands top dollars and does not put him as the favorable candidate in this battle. Meantime, Jon Hamm merely has a Golden Globe and a SAG award, and still only nets about 3 millions viewers a week for “Mad Men.” The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” easily had 20 million viewers a week for five seasons. Like Brad Pitt, Will Smith is the height of his career and has many years of success still to come. Jon Hamm is on an upward trajectory, already with drama and comedy under his belt. Hollywood action star is the only thing missing from his résumé.

Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Versus Jerry O’Connell

29 04 2009

Jon Hamm Versus Jerry O'Connell

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. For round seven, we consider Hollywood powerhouse Jerry O’Connell.

Everyone here knows who Jerry O’Connell is, and just about everyone here probably likes him a great deal. There are many important facts about Jerry that make him a super heavyweight in this battle. First, he’s been acting since he was 12 (we all know he and River Phoenix famously battled with Wil Wheaton for more screen time in “Stand By Me“). Second, he’s had siginificant roles in a number of television series, like “Sliders,” “Crossing  Jordan,” and Holy Good God did you know My Secret Identityhad 70 episodes??? Ahem. Third, he’s appeared in a number of successful films, including “Jerry Maguire,” “Scream 2,” and he had an inspired cameo in “Can’t Hardly Wait,” and all three were important films of the 1990s. Finally, and most importantly, he’s married to Rebecca Romijn, one of Barker’s Beauties who appeared in three X-Men movies and could likely have the ear of every executive at Marvel Studios any day of the week.

So, with television and film credits that makes every wannabe in Hollywood green with envy, with a marriage to the most influential and beautiful guest star on Just Shoot Me, with the youth and charm of most lead actors in a movie about college freshmen, why not cast Jerry O’Connell? Two words: Matt Le Blanc. Like Matt Le Blanc, Jerry O’Connell has that comfortable feel of a TV star who you’ve welcomed into your home hundreds of times before. He’s no superhero, despite attempts to convince you otherwise with things like “Lost In Space.” Think about it. We’re all happy to see see O’Connell or Le Blanc in our homes, but neither of them could don Superman’s cape or Spider-Man’s webshooters.

Could you imagine if they made a Captain America movie in 1985 with superstar Ted Danson? It nearly makes sense, but at the same time it isn’t quite right. Luckily, Jon Hamm has added the leading man credits on television and the perfect supporting roles in film to make him the unshakable best bet of this face off. Sorry, Jerry. But a supporting role in these films is NOT out of the question.

Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Versus Brad Pitt

25 04 2009

Jon Hamm Versus Brad Pitt

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. Today explore the possibility of superstar A-lister Brad Pitt going to war.

Brad Pitt’s name has been bandied about for years as a great casting choice for Captain America. He’s the best looking man in the U.S. (possibly the world), and shouldn’t Steve Rogers be a handsome guy? Of course he should, but there are a few things that would make it difficult to get Pitt in the lead role. For one, he’s a megastar who commands boku bucks for every picture, but Marvel probably can’t afford to pay him $150 million dollars for at least a four-picture deal over the course of 8-10 years. Also, Brad Pitt will be turning 46 in December, which isn’t necessary a huge liability. But making him look younger will just have audiences remember what he used to look like. Go ahead, tell me you didn’t think you were watching old footage of him in “Thelma & Louise” when he was supposed to be 20-something in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Getting older isn’t a bad thing in general, but today’s Pitt is radically different than yesterday’s.

The humanitarian family man probably doesn’t need a superhero franchise on his acting resume, anyway. He’s at the height of his career and can basically do whatever he wants. Jon Hamm, on the other hand, is a rising star in Hollywood. Representing the best wartime superhero ever on screen would only make him brighter. Marvel would be crazy not to snatch him up.

Before Davy Jones and then later Brad Pitt, I didn’t think there were any shorter names in Hollywood. Then Jon Hamm, America’s Actor, came along. Watch out, audiences.

Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Versus John Hodgman

22 04 2009

Jon Hamm versus John Hodgman

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. Today we examine the possibility of author/actor John Hodgman taking on the Steve Rogers role.

John Hodgman, one of the elite American intelligentsia, has implanted himself into the consciousness of American media/comedy devourers for the last few years. Ask one person, he’s the PC in the Mac vs. PC commercials. Ask another, he’s the celebrated author of two brilliant books. Ask still another, he’s the hilarious Senior Expert personality on the Daily Show. Ask some other dude, he’s the guy who travels the land with musical funnyman Jonathon Coulton. Ask still even another guy, he’s the guy who shows up as Mr. Know-It-All in things like Baby Mama and TV’s Battlestar Galactica. Ask an additional man, he’s a public radio personality who guest-writes for the New York Times. Ask another fellow, he’s a McSweeney’s contributor. Ask a guy named Bruce Campbell, he’s a literary agent. Ask maybe even one other person, and he’s potentially the perfect casting choice as Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America.

We here at JHSPCA absolutely do not agree with that last fellow, but we also don’t deny the remote possibility that Hodgman may in fact appear in a film from Marvel Studios. Hodgman exudes confidence and complete knowledge at nearly every event he attends or in every acting role his assumes. While he doesn’t have the physique, acting experience, athleticism, or chiseled American hero looks, it is not impossible for Marvel to back a guy who would be “unknown” in the mainstream but have the “geek appeal” that would attract comedy nerds, literary fans, and sci-fi dorks. In our opinion, it would be much cooler to see Hodgman play one of the scientists who developed the Super Soldier Formula, which transformed debilitated Steve Rogers into the U.S.’s finest specimen of humanity and strength.

Hodgman, if they call you in to play Steve Rogers I will concede that you are the best choice for the role. But if they call you in to play a scientist or doctor, well, I’ll say say that I’m the one who called it first!

Someone start a blog called HodgmanShouldBeCastInCaptainAmerica right away!

Meantime, Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Versus Justin Timberlake

21 04 2009

Jon Hamm Versus TimberlakeWelcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. Next up, America’s Actor – Jon Hamm – squares off against singer/songwriter/dancer/actor/producer Justin Timberlake.

The year? 2000. The place? Your local Top 40 radio station. The song? “Bye Bye Bye” by ‘N Sync. As the biggest boyband of that era, ‘N Sync had a meteoric rise to the top, busting charts and exhibiting dance moves no human had seen before. “Bye Bye Bye” was the hit single off their third studio album “No Strings Attached” and is the song now most associated with the group.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JoJqID-wJY]

What also happened in 2000? Actor extraordinaire Jon Hamm makes his on-screen debuts on two network series and a feature film. I don’t think anyone here doesn’t remember “The Hughleys” successful episode that featured Jon Hamm as Buzz, which hit the airwaves a full five weeks before “No Strings Attached” dropped. Later that August, “Space Cowboys” was released to theaters, the hilarious film about over-the-hill astronauts who get another crack at adventure in the cosmos. Jon Hamm appeared as Young Pilot #2 in the movie that would gross about $90 million domestically. Finally, he portrayed Jackson in the pilot episode in ABC’s series “The Trouble With Normal,” which saw early cancellation later that season.

Since those pre-9/11 days, Justin Timberlake soared even higher than his bandmates and became the de facto male pop star of his generation, and Jon Hamm became an household-name actor adored by millions of fans and critics alike. These titans of media each could bring something unique to the role of Steve Rogers: Timberlake with his poppin’-fresh dance moves, Hamm with his extremely nuanced acting ability. But the one thing Hamm does not have to worry about is promoting an album or a worldwide concert tour. Rumor has it that Justin Timberlake has a new album due in 2009, and that should keep him way too busy to headline a Captain America movie, let alone co-star in the ensemble actioner “The Avengers” which will come out in 2012. Justin Timberlake is a superstar in his own right who has proven he does not need another boyband to hold him back. JT could never return to being a team player as an Avenger, but Jon Hamm has shown he can play well with others with his many television series credits.

Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Versus Seth Rogen

20 04 2009

Jon Hamm Versus Seth Rogen

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. Next up, Jon Hamm takes on funnyman Seth Rogen.

You can’t throw a rock into the crowded streets of Hollywood without hitting some shmuck talking about the new Seth Rogen movie coming out, or one of Seth Rogen’s favorite movies, or potential casting news regarding Seth Rogen. He’s part of the Judd Apatow crew, storming through Hollywood and changing the landscape of entertainment at every turn.

Now, I happen to like Seth Rogen as a writer, and as far as I know, Jon Hamm has not sold a successful screenplay. I like Seth Rogen as a performer, and while Jon has done his fair share of comedy, Rogen is face of comedy today. Rogen has the comedic timing and charm to pull off a leading man role, as his box office receipts have shown us. So as casting news for “The First Avenger: Captain America” heats up, Seth Rogen’s name will inevitably be tossed around.

Can Seth Rogen play Captain America? Should Seth Rogen play Steve Rogers? Do audiences want Seth Rogen behind the shield? No, No, and if they have any sense, No!

Everyone loves a shlubby everyman, but that’s an archetype that does not fit into the superhero mold. Seth Rogen might make a fun sidekick or even a snarky villain, but he’s no Steve Rogers. Captain America is the ultimate soldier, who with fights with heroism, confidence and unabashed patriotism. Captain America is the type of guy people look up to, the one they aspire to be but know they could never be. The bar is raised far higher than what anyone could reach. It’s pretty safe to say that if people wanted to be Seth Rogen, most of them figure they’d have a decent shot if they tried.

Finally, somehow, Seth Rogen already has already laid claim to a corner of the superhero market: The Green Hornet.

Jon Hamm wins!





Jon Hamm Vs. Jensen Ackles

15 04 2009

John Hamm Versus Jensen Ackles

Welcome to “Jon Hamm Versus,” where we will take a look at possible contenders for the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America,” slated for release on July 22, 2011. For round two, Jon Hamm faces off against a very tough opponent: Jensen Ackles.

I was happy that I came up with Ackles as a possible casting choice on my own, but apparently other folks have thought about this too. I know what some of you people are thinking… “Jensen Who?” “Ackles Whatnow?” But the rest of you are probably vaguely familiar with this fellow. His acting résumé puts him as the WB/CW’s go-to guy, having appeared on “Dawson’s Creek” and “Smallville” in strong supporting roles, and a brief appearance as presumably douchey Halloween Kid #9 on “7th Heaven” in its first season. That doesn’t seem like much when you consider his 4 seasons on the network’s current hit show “Supernatural,” playing demon-hunter badass, Dean Winchester. But don’t count our guy out; Jon Hamm does have guest shots on “Charmed,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Hughleys,” so he at least have some WB cred.

So how could Jon Hamm stand up to Jensen Ackles? Ackles sort of naturally looks the part, and as the fellow across The Pond in the link above mentions, he’s basically the right age. But he’s untested in the mainstream film department. He does have a number of recent genre items on his plate, like “My Bloody Valentine” and possibly next year’s “Resident Evil 4.” He had a stint on the FOX TV show “Dark Angel,” the springboard career-maker for Jessica Alba. But young WB stars typically have difficulty gaining huge mainstream appeal while they’re still on the WB, and he’ll be on “Supernatural” for one more season. And sure, Alexis Bledel and Michelle Williams have done some very interesting and award-winning projects, but they were always overshadowed by their male co-stars or the subject matter. The guy who plays Steve Rogers needs to carry the movie, part of Marvel’s billion-dollar gamble to put The Avengers on the big screen, and Ackle’s WB-ness may get in the way. Cap/Rogers is a classic leading man role (think Cary Grant, with a touch more badass) and Jon-Hamm-as-Don-Draper comes closer to that. And anyway, someone with even an extremely loose James Van Der Beek association is going to lose points. Sorry, Jensen.

Jon Hamm has been buzzy for the last two years and it makes perfect sense to capitalize on his momentum. The timing is just not on Ackles’s side. To be honest, if Jon Hamm was never born, though, there might have been a blog called JensenAcklesShouldPlayCaptainAmerica, because I sense some great things from this guy in the action and/or comedy departments.

Jon Hamm wins!

P.S…. coincidentally, look for James Van Der Beek and Jon Hamm to show up in the (indie?) “The Boy In The Box” next year! Yikes…. This might end up being a close one! Good thing the poll will decide it all….!