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One of the biggest concerns for comic book fans regarding Captain America: The First Avenger has been the question mark surrounding Joe Johnston. It was just last year that the director made The Wolfman, a critical and box office disappointment that was plagued by problems behind the scenes. Fortunately, however, one very important person also recognizes how bad the movie turned out to be: Joe Johnston.
CBM recently asked Johnston for his thoughts now that the Captain America shoot has wrapped and most of his reflection came in comparison to the trails experienced while filming the Universal monster movie. According to the director, he only had three weeks of prep time to make The Wolfman, which he called a "ridiculously inadequate amount of time to try to bring together the fractured and scattered pieces of the production." He also admitted that he took the job largely as a paycheck, the first time he's ever done so, and he regrets it greatly.
I had taken the job mostly because I had a cash flow problem, the only time in my career I’ve ever let finances enter into the decision process. Money is always the wrong reason for doing something that requires passionate devotion.
Continuing, Johnston likened the production to "a leaky, rudderless ship in a perfect storm suffering from bad decisions, infighting, reluctance of the powers-that-be to take responsibility, and too many under-qualified cooks in the kitchen." In contrast, Johnston pointed out that he had nearly a year to work on Captain America before heading into production and lauded everyone that worked with him on it.
I had thirty weeks of prep on Captain America. I have a small team of qualified, supportive, creative producers who are actually helping me achieve my vision of the film. I had a dream cast headed by Chris Evans. I had the best designers, artists, sculptors, craftspeople…a creative team that could design, build and photograph anything and have it look amazing and beautiful. We had unbelievable luck with the weather wherever we shot in England. The weather was so good we were compelled to make it rain for a couple of sequences just for some variety. At times I felt as if the gods were saying, “Ahem, sorry about that Wolfman thing…let us make it up to you.” Captain America was probably the most universally positive experience I’ve had in this mad business.
As I've said before, I can truly appreciate when a filmmaker or actor comes forward and admits that a project they worked on was below their standards and apologizes. There are simply far too many giant egos in Hollywood that can't admit when they've made even the most minor mistake, so this kind of story is always refreshing. The first trailer for Johnston's newest film is expected to drop in the next couple weeks, so here's hoping that all of his hard work pays off.