Marvel Advisors Didn’t Want Captain America: The First Avenger To Be A Period Piece

captain america the first avenger

During the buildup to Captain America: The First Avenger, many insiders and analysts were predicting that the movie may struggle to reel in international audiences given its reliance on the United States’ World War II effort, and a star-spangled title hero who acts as the living embodiment of Americana.

To combat this, Marvel Studios and distributor Paramount allowed overseas markets to drop the Captain America prefix if they wanted to, an offer that was gladly taken up by Russia, South Korea and Ukraine. However, it turns out that the comic book company’s own advisors were against the idea of a period piece, and they wanted Kevin Feige to set The First Avengers in the present day.

As per new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via CBR, Feige was incredulous when asked about ditching the 1940s setting, with potential merchandising opportunities cited to the president of production as a concern.

“What are you talking about? Raiders of the Lost Ark is a period piece. I thought, ‘The Red Skull can use the Cosmic Cube to make all of these cool advanced weapons and vehicles. So it’s a World War II movie, but you’ve got these enhanced motorcycles and tanks and Hydra soldiers blasting blue energy that you’ve never seen before. I remember getting in my car, going, ‘That’s how we can do it’.”

Things worked out just fine in the end, with Captain America: The First Avenger earning $370 million at the box office and launching one of the MCU’s best solo franchises, and Steve Rogers being forged in the heat of World War II remained integral to his arc for the next decade.