The debut trailer for Hawkeye dropped yesterday and – let’s not beat around the bush here – it kicked ass. It clearly takes heavy inspiration from Matt Fraction’s comics run with the character, combining intense action, wry humor, and a bunch of style. But amongst all the arrow-based shenanigans, there’s one particularly great reveal: in the MCU you can see “Rogers: The Musical”.
This appears to be a musical retelling of the life of Steve Rogers/Captain America, and we see a snippet of the Battle of New York scene. All the Avengers are present (on-stage costume interpretations), along with Loki, and some deep cuts like the civilians he saves in the finale.
But we very nearly got a Captain America musical for real. Back in the late 1980s, Marvel was working on a $4 million musical extravaganza about the hero. According to GamesRadar, this would have seen ‘John Rogers’ (played by John Callum) suffering a midlife crisis and having to rescue his Presidential candidate girlfriend from the Lincoln Memorial.
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The villain was a cosmetics CEO with a secret terrorist cell under his control (shades of Catwoman…) and songs included “Fly the Flag”, “Nobody Asked Me to Lead a Parade This Year”, “Both Ways”, and ‘The First Presidential.”
One of the writers described it as:
“This is essentially a love story about a man who’s always been strong, independent – even macho – and a sensitive, assertive, bright, and political woman.”
There were a handful of test performances to try and raise money to take it big, but interest was limited and the project fizzled. It was killed off for good when Marvel was acquired by an investment group owned by cosmetics CEO Ron Perelman who wanted to save money and stamped it out. Possibly he was also annoyed at the villain being essentially him, but we shall never know.
Let’s hope we get to see more of Rogers: The Musical when Hawkeye arrives on Disney Plus on November 24.