Watch Out Red Skull, Cap! Blog Update

Los Angeles-based Runic Films’ sponsored blog site Captain America! Redefining Modern Myth marks its first month of posts from creative team Ben Alpi, filmmaker and Rick Arthur, comic artist. Interest has been high for this careful reconstructing of the Steve Rogers/Captain America myth which blends factual elements from the WWII era with the wealth of Cap source material.

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Post titles include Going Home, Watch Out Red Skull, No Ordinary Man, Letters From Soldiers and many more. When asked to describe the project, Alpi said, “It is a unique search for character leading into new territory.”?

Arthur also commented,”We set out to build a living, breathing character for film. What we ended up with was very unexpected.”

Runic Films provided an excerpt from "Emails #8" as follows:?


Nature abhors a vacuum. Opposites attract. Fate will always bring them together. Captain America and Red Skull are trapped together in a web of hatred spun before either of them were born. Both play their part. Neither would dare stand aside for the other.?

As part of the hero’s journey, Cap must find the courage to destroy the Red Skull before the war can end. I would like to think that in the crazy last days of the war Cap pursues the Red Skull mercilessly. For his part, the Red Skull is privy to a lot of resources, troops, weapons and secret weapons. It is only on the last day, the last hour of the war that Cap catches up to and corners him. With no place to run, this will be the fight to the finish!

To give meaning to the battle, Cap must have faced the Red Skull before and been badly beaten and humiliated. Cap must be severely weakened or handicapped in some way while the Red Skull must be at the height of his powers and have home court advantage. At some point, Cap must be on the verge of giving up and the Red Skull must seem to have the advantage with victory almost in his grasp.

Why must Cap seem so weak? It is important that he be the underdog so that when he turns the tables it is all the more dramatic an example of his virtues defeating those of his opponents. If they are more equally matched or Cap has the upper hand going in, audiences will easily mistake the drubbing Red Skull gets as a personal vendetta compared to an act of bravery and heroism that the whole rest of the film tries to set up. Cap is not about vengeance.

Think about the final conflicts in a lot of the movies, particularly action movies and how many of them are predicated on attaining revenge. When you see the “hero” spouting pithy one-liners then killing a lot of bad guys the juxtaposition of elements tells you that they are not heroes at all but revenge seekers. Ultimately, there can be no pay off on a spiritual level. Revenge is not a virtue. Nothing is gained. In order for the audience to feel anything, the conflict must result in shock rather than growth. Entire films have been ruined this way with a strong build up and under satisfying finish.

If the villain is not dead at the end of the movie and the hero ends up in a block of ice, is it a victory?

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