A list of trivia related to Captain America: The First Avenger.

References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • The film was originally meant to be a standalone film, but after Joss Whedon was hired to direct The Avengers (2012) he was given a copy of the film's script and made a few rewrites to tie it in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "I just got to make some character connections. The structure of the thing was really tight and I loved it, but there were a couple of opportunities to find his voice a little bit - and some of the other characters - and make the connections so that you understood exactly why he wanted to be who he wanted to be. And progressing through the script to flesh it out a little bit."
  • This is the first MCU film to be set mainly in the past of the present day, however, the opening is set in 2011, while the main events are set in the 40s.
  • HYDRA is introduced in the MCU. However, after the reveal that HYDRA had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier members of the sleeping agency made an appearance before the proper introduction of the organization. For example, Senator Stern appeared in Iron Man 2 while Jasper Sitwell was first seen in Thor.
  • When Johann Schmidt is searching for the Tesseract at the beginning of the film, he shoots the man hiding it and blood splatters on his HYDRA pin. The blood only splatters on the skull part of his HYDRA pin, foreshadowing his becoming the Red Skull.
  • Within the Norwegian church, there is a statue of a kneeling Norseman. A larger version of the statue is later seen in Thor's vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to set photos, the large statue was set to return in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Elements from the Nordic mythology are mentioned throughout the film. For example, the Asgardians from Thor are the "Gods" referenced by Schmidt. Yggdrasil is also mentioned.
  • Though not introduced by their name, the Infinity Stones make a proper appearance in the MCU through the Tesseract, later revealed to be the Space Stone. A blueprint of the Cube can be seen in Iron Man 2.
  • In 1943, Steve Rogers mentions his deceased parents, Joseph and Sarah Rogers. Despite not being mentioned, in the comic prelude, Captain America: First Vengeance, it is revealed that Rogers used to hang out in Hell's Kitchen.
  • Rogers' phrase "I can do this all day" is later brought up in future MCU installments such as Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame.
World Exposition of Tomorrow - 1943
  • The film marks the first chronological appearance of the Stark Expo which is labelled as World Exposition of Tomorrow. The Stark Expo made its first appearance in Iron Man 2.
  • When Bucky takes Steve to the World's Fair near the beginning of the film he says, "We're going to the future" - a foreshadowing that Steve Rogers will actually go to the future at the end of the film.
  • During the Stark Expo presentation, Howard Stark presents the Hovercar, a car that uses gravitic reversion technology. The device is said to be a protoype. A better design of the Hovercar is seen in the TV series Agent Carter during the episode Hollywood Ending. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson's car Lola also uses this technology.
  • The Strategic Scientific Reserve is introduced in the MCU being the predecessor of S.H.I.E.L.D. which played a big role in Marvel Studios' Phase One.
Schmidt mythology
  • When Abraham Erskine tells Rogers the history of HYDRA and Schmidt, he mentions that Schmidt based his scientific investigations on known myths in the world such as Asgard and other ancient creatures. This part of HYDRA's history is further expanded in the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • When chasing down the HYDRA agent after being injected with the super soldier serum, Steve picks up a Taxi Cab door. The cab company is 'Lucky Star Cab Company' - with the name circling the star for a logo - resembling and foreshadowing the iconic shield that Steve eventually wields as Captain America.
  • Even though the vial of serum stolen by the HYDRA agent is broken, another showed up in The Incredible Hulk to be injected into Emil Blonsky (making him the Abomination). You can even see "Vita-Rays" written on the refrigerated storage container. According to canon many attempts were made to replicate the Super-Soldier experiment, but for a yet-unexplained reason it only ever worked on Steve Rogers. This was also brought up in other MCU TV series such as Agent Carter where it was mentioned that the government took 12 samples of Rogers' blood and by 1946 they had wasted most of it with no success.
  • The first Captain America comic makes a cameo in the film. In real life the movie is inspired by the comic book, while in the movie the comic book is inspired by "real life".
Autograph Seeker

Peter Quill's Grandmother asking for Captain America's autograph

Howard Stark's Notebook

Tony Stark's New Element

  • Howard Stark finds the lost Tesseract at the end, which leads him to creating blue print designs about the cubes structure and overall power, which can be seen in a case of paperwork that Tony Stark looks through in the middle of Iron Man 2.
  • Nick Fury has an appearance by the end of the film in the present day telling Rogers that he had been gone for nearly 70 years.
  • This film contains the first post-credits scene which is a cut down scene from a future movie.
  • A post-credits caption promises ''Captain America will return in The Avengers''.

References to Marvel Comics

  • Arnim Zola's first appearance, in the form of his face as an image on a television screen, is evocative of the "classic" comic-book Zola, whose body was a headless hulk with a viewscreen on its chest displaying an image of his face.
  • The special forces unit that Captain America assembles and leads is an amalgamation of the characters of Marvel Comics' World War II period titles. These are the 1960s war title, "Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos" about an elite special forces infantry unit and the 1970s "The Invaders," about a superhero team operating during the war under the command of Captain America. The contributions of the former title include most of the soldier characters, while the latter includes Captain America, Bucky and James Montgomery Falsworth, who appears in the comic book as the British superhero, Union Jack.
Human Torch

Synthetic Man

  • In the exhibition, there is a mannequin in a red jumpsuit under a glass dome. That is a reference to the android, the original Human Torch, the first superhero created by Timely Comics (October 1939), which eventually became Marvel Comics. He was also part of The Invaders along with Namor and Captain America. Marvel Comics recycled the name and abilities with the Fantastic Four's Johnny Storm (1961).
  • The Captain America comic book shown in the movies bears the cover of the actual Captain America #1 released in 1941.
  • During the escape from the HYDRA facility, Dugan and Jones steal a tank. As they drive away, you hear Dugan exclaim "Wahoo!" In the comics, this is the battle cry of the Howling Commandos, of which both men are members.
  • In the final scene of the film, Captain America attempts to break out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility he is at, thinking he was captured by the enemy before learning about the modern world. This is based on his Ultimate Marvel counterpart who did the same thing in Ultimates #3.

Stan Lee


Stan Lee

  • Stan Lee's cameo appearance in this film is an exception in the tradition of him appearing in films featuring Marvel Comics superheroes. In this case, Lee had nothing to do with the initial creation of Captain America, but his first story he ever wrote was "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 in 1941, which also had the first appearance of Captain America throwing his shield as a weapon. In addition, he, along with Jack Kirby, was responsible for successfully reviving the character in 1964 in The Avengers #4 and reestablishing him as a major figure in the Marvel Universe.

References to 20th Century Fox Characters

  • Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for James Logan Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto), who were present during World War II (Logan was a soldier and Lensherr was a prisoner of war). However, these cameos were scrapped due to rights issues. Before the rights to the "X-Men" franchise reverted to Marvel on December 14th 2017, they belonged to 20th Century Fox.
  • Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Prince of Atlantis, but this was scrapped.

Live-action Adaptations

  • This is the fifth live-action adaptation for Captain America. The first was the serial, Captain America (1944); the second was the TV movie Captain America (1979) and its sequel, Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979), and the fourth was the theatrical film Captain America (1990).
  • In the 1979 made for TV movies, Steve Rogers makes his living as an artist. As a homage, in this newer version, Steve Rogers sketches costumes designs for Howard Stark and is caught doodling pictures of himself as a circus monkey.

References to Actors' Other Works

  • The Red Skull searches for a powerful cube-shaped artifact, the Tesseract. In Transformers, Hugo Weaving voiced the villain Megatron, who also searched for a similar cosmic cube-shaped relic (the All-Spark).
  • The scene where Chester Phillips flipped a switch to accelerate a car is an homage to a similar scene in Men in Black, where Tommy Lee Jones' character does the same.

Real Life

  • The sniper rifle Bucky uses to save Cap is a modified 1941 Johnson rifle, which was adopted in limited numbers by the US Marine Corps.
  • HYDRA's futurist aircraft take their designs from actual WWII German concepts such as the Horten H.XVIII flying wing bomber and Triebflügeljäger fighter plane.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: Rogers is pursued by Hydra soldiers on motorcycles, but releases a flamethrower defense. One screams as he swerves, loses control and is thrown headlong.
  • During the Attack on HYDRA Headquarters, Captain America pulls the pin out of a Model 24 grenade strapped to the side of a HYDRA motorcycle, causing an explosion which kills the driver. In reality, Model 24 grenades did not have a pin, but rather, a pull cord.


  • The final shortlist for the lead role consisted of Garrett Hedlund, Channing Tatum, Scott Porter, Mike Vogel, Ryan Phillippe Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans, Wilson Bethel, John Krasinski, Michael Cassidy, Chace Crawford, and Jensen Ackles. Both Kellan Lutz and Alexander Skarsgård auditioned for the lead role, while Sam Worthington and Will Smith were in early talks. The role went to Chris Evans, who has already played another Marvel superhero, Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
  • Emily Blunt turned down the role of Peggy Carter. Other actresses considered for the role were Alice Eve and Keira Knightley.
  • Sebastian Stan was considered for the role of Captain America, but got the role of Bucky Barnes instead.
  • Jon Favreau was originally chosen by Marvel Studios to direct this film, but he chose to direct Iron Man (2008). Nick Cassavetes, was also considered to direct this film, and had been set as a director for Iron Man (2008) in December 2004.
  • Despite being "The First Avenger", it is the last solo Avenger film to be released before the team-up film, The Avengers (2012).
  • According to producer Avi Arad: "The biggest opportunity with Captain America is as a man 'out of time', coming back today, looking at our world through the eyes of someone who thought the perfect world was small-town America. Sixty years go by, and who are we today? Are we better?"
  • Joe Johnston was chosen as the film's director for his work on the period adventure films The Rocketeer (1991), October Sky (1999) and Hidalgo (2004) .
  • Louis Leterrier viewed some of the concept art for the film, and was impressed enough to offer his services, but Marvel Studios turned him down. However, his film The Incredible Hulk (2008) provides a small appearance by Captain America: a deleted scene set in the Arctic.
  • Screenwriter David Self, who wrote a draft of the script, claimed Captain America was his favorite childhood superhero: "My dad told me I could one day be Captain America."
  • Chris Evans was attracted to the role of Captain America by its character: "Even if it wasn't a comic book. I think the story of Steve Rogers is great. He's a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I would probably want to do it. It wasn't necessarily about the comic itself. He's a great character to play; he just happens to be a comic book character."
  • Chris Evans declined the role three times before accepting the part. After that, he had a meeting with the director and the producers who convinced him to take the role.
  • To prepare for his role as Bucky, Sebastian Stan watched many World War II films/documentaries, and drew inspiration from Band of Brothers (2001).
  • Stanley Tucci took the role of Dr. Abraham Erskine because the role enabled him to use a German accent, which he always wanted to do.
  • To prepare for her role as Peggy Carter, Hayley Atwell trained six days a week.
  • Joe Simon, who created the "Captain America" comic in 1941 (before Stan Lee revived it in 1964), was approached to make a cameo appearance in the film.
  • Hugo Weaving based the Red Skull's accent on renowned German filmmakers Werner Herzog and Klaus Maria Brandauer.
  • The film was originally going to be film in Manhattan Beach, California but moved it to London, England due of the tax breaks to films costing over $75 million.
  • Captain America was put on hold during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
  • Tommy Lee Jones who plays Colonel Chester Phillips in this film, also appeared as Two-Face/Harvey Dent in Batman Forever (1995). Both Captain America and Batman faced off in the Marvel vs. DC crossover in 1996.
  • Hayley Atwell based her performance as Peggy Carter on Ginger Rogers: "She can do everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels."
  • The final Paramount Pictures film produced with Marvel Studios. Disney bought the rights to The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man 3 (2013).
  • Contrary to popular belief, a body double was not used for Chris Evans for the scenes when he was skinny. The filmmakers had originally planned to hire a body double and superimpose Evans' face onto the double's body, but ultimately scrapped the idea since director Joe Johnston claimed that Evans moved in a unique way and that no body double could replicate his movements. Ultimately, the filmmakers utilized digital technology to "shrink" Evans down, essentially erasing portions of his physique, until they came up with what the filmmakers called "Skinny Steve". Over 250 shots were filmed like this, and because the shrinking process left empty space in the background, many of the scenes had to filmed in front of a green screen so that they could superimpose the backgrounds back into the scene.
  • In the scene in which Phillips, Peggy and Captain America are chasing the Hydra plane in Schmidt's car, Phillips presses a red button, with the letter K on it and the German words Gefahr Nicht Drucken surrounding it which translates in English to "Danger Do Not Push", sending the car speeding faster down the runway. In the film Men in Black Tommy Lee Jones' character Kay warns his partner Jay (Will Smith) to never "ever touch the red button", and later in the film tells him to "push the little red button" sending their car speeding down a tunnel.
  • Paul Warren (an experienced film double and actor mostly known for roles wearing prosthetic) was used in pre-production to help develop the 'Skinny Steve Rogers' effect by CGI supervisor, Christopher Townsend, as well as one of the 'Skinny Steve' on set stand in's. English Shakespearean trained stage actor, Leander Deeny, was used on as the on set 'Skinny Steve' double when Chris Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical movement was required.
  • Samuel L. Jackson filmed a scene with Chris Evans for this movie in a modern New York City's Time Square which serve as a scene that preludes The Avengers.
  • Joe Johnston, the director of "Captain America: The First Avenger", also directed [[Wikipedia:|]]The Rocketeer. In the Rocketter, the hero, Cliff Secord, finds a rocket pack created by Howard Hughes, thus becoming the Rocketeer. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America obtains his iconic shield from Howard Stark, a character closely based on Howard Hughes.
  • There are several references to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which Director Joe Johnston worked on as Art Director:
    • Red Skull's consumption at the hands of the Tesseract is very similar to how the Ark of the Covenant kills the Nazis.
    • Captain America throws a HYDRA pilot into a propeller.
    • After he holds the Tesseract in his hands, Johann Schmidt makes a comment about how the Fuhrer "searches the desert for trinkets."
  • This is the last Marvel Studios film to use the original logo animation. A general Marvel logo would be used for The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and a new logo would be introduced in Thor: The Dark World.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+