At the beginning of this month, we started a March Madness-style bracket where we pitted 64 movie superheroes against each other. The criterion for judgment was evaluating who gave the better performance as his or her respective superhero. The tournament saw its fair share of upsets and Cinderella stories, but in the end, only one could emerge the winner in our final bout between Iron Man and Captain America.
And the winner is…
While it wasn’t a blowout victory, Cap won by a decisive margin. However, it was great to see these two characters in the final round, not just because it coincidentally created a Civil War matchup (we had no idea that’s how it would pan out when we started this), but because of what these two actors and their characters represent to the modern superhero landscape.
Both were #1 seeds for a reason. They both defined these characters on screen and if any actor ever takes up the armor or the shield afterwards, they’re going to be trying to fill some awfully big boots. Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark, and he took a character who was pretty much an unknown back in 2008 and turned him into an icon.
But even Downey acknowledges that Chris Evans had an even tougher task with Captain America. From our interview on the Captain America: Civil War set last year, Downey said:
But I think what’s great is it makes space for Cap, and I’ve always said this and I’ll say it again, Chris Evans had the tallest mountain to climb out of any us. I would put Chris Pratt kind of in the second because that was not an on the radar, beloved character, but I think that what Chris was able to do that first time around with Cap and even more so in Winter Soldier was take this character that seems like a real stretch that a mainstream audience is going to embrace this and he did something that was very, very hard to do, which was make it kind of credible and make it relatable.
I wholeheartedly agree.
Thanks to everyone who participated and made this so enjoyable. It gave us lively discussions, some heated competition, and a bit of nerdy fun.