Shortlist Of “Captain America” Contenders

John Krasinski (TV’s “The Office,” “It’s Complicated”) is apparently the favourite of the shortlist of contenders for Marvel Studios’ “The First Avenger: Captain America” reports Heat Vision.

Screen tests are taking place over the next fortnight to cast Steve Rogers/Captain America in the new film version of the comic book hero that Joe Johnston (“The Wolfman,” “Jurassic Park III”) is directing.

Also on the list are a bunch of young hunks familiar to fans of genre television but still relative unknowns outside of it including Scott Porter (TV’s “Friday Night Lights,” “The Good Guy”), Mike Vogel (“Cloverfield,” “Poseidon”), Michael Cassidy (TV’s “Smallville,” TV’s “The OC) and Patrick Fluger (TV’s “The 4400,” “Brothers”).

Chace Crawford (TV’s “Gossip Girl,” “The Covenant”) is in talks to test but is not yet set. Garret Hedlund (“Troy,” “Four Brothers,” “Tron: Legacy”) was on the list but has since fallen off, as has Jensen Ackles (TV’s “Supernatural,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D”) due to scheduling conflicts.

The process may all be for nought. For Marvel’s “Thor”, Aussie hunk Chris Hemsworth was initially passed on but after several rounds of testing with other actors, he came under consideration and eventually scored the role.

Part of the issue with the casting is both the money and commitment. Whomever plays the part is expected to sign Marvel’s now seemingly standard nine-picture deal, while the rumoured salary for the role is said to be a pittance.

‘Captain America’ will hit theatres on July 2011.