Originally, talk of international markets’ sensitivity to the title of super hero pic Captain America had Marvel Studios and Paramount discussing an optional title change. Now THR reports that all but three countries have decided to keep the original title of the film, and only Russia, Ukraine and South Korea will opt for the nationality-neutral title The First Avenger.
Studio brass decided quite awhile ago to make the full title of the upcoming comic book adaptation Captain America: The First Avenger. This would give other countries the option of dropping the “Captain America” part of the title to address possible sensitivity issues.
I’m glad to see that most countries didn’t opt for the title change and instead embraced the name, since the iconic super hero is just what his name suggests, and that’s how he was written. Most international distributors chose to keep the original title, as it is such an identifiable franchise that changing the name could have resulted in loss of ticket sale. Russia, Ukraine and South Korea reportedly chose the alternate title for cultural and political reasons.
A title change for Captain America is ridiculous. Captain America is like a walking billboard for all things American, and I imagine if someone from a different country doesn’t like the in-your-face patriotism of this American super hero, he/she simply won’t go to this movie. Understandably, some U.S. film titles are changed in foreign markets for greater accessibility, but changing the name of a famed comic book to make it less “threatening” seems overtly political and pandering.
I’m not interested in world sensitivities in this instance, because anyone who thinks Captain America has some anti-global political agenda should keep in mind that the comic book first came out in the 1940s. And in case that doesn’t mean anything to said person, there was a little thing called World War II going on. The Captain America super hero was a symbol of patriotism, often seen in early comic book issues fighting the evil Axis powers. What’s not to embrace?
Captain America comes out in U.S. theater on July 22, 2011.