When you think of Captain America in live-action, your mind will instantly and completely understandably wander towards Chris Evans’ decorated decade-long tenure as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Steve Rogers.
However, the first feature-length outing for the star-spangled superhero arrived the the early 1990s as an awful 97-minute movie made for a paltry $3 million. Shot in 1990, Captain America would sit on the shelf for two years before debuting on cable in the United States, but it did at least score a limited theatrical release in some international markets.
As it turns out, James Gunn was a fan of Matt Salinger’s panned outing under the spandex, explaining during the first episode of Peacemaker‘s accompanying podcast that he wanted to put his own anarchic spin on the cheesy disaster.
“I think it was a lot of different things [that appealed to me about Peacemaker]. Number one, I loved the Captain America TV movie from when I was a kid. I’m like, ‘What would a really f*cked up version of that be like?’. If you ever go back and see it, it’s terrible. But as a child, I loved it. So I’m like, ‘What, in my brain, was that show?’ Then you take that to sort of this extreme place, and that’s Peacemaker.”
Fans have been raving about Peacemaker ever since it landed on HBO Max 24 hours ago, but we’ve yet to find anyone who’d readily compare it to the forgotten Captain America. That’s probably for the best, when it’s one of the many shoddy Marvel adaptations made throughout the decade to have largely been lost to the sands of time, and with very good reason.