Which leading man has the muscle and the charm to play the patriarch of the Marvel universe?

By Catherine Donaldson-evans
Updated March 22, 2010 12:55 PM
Credit: Wireimage; Splash News Online; Photo Image Press; Rex USA; Inset Globe

Hear that Captain America? That’s the buzz about who will play the patriarch of the Marvel universe on the big screen. The latest rumor is that Chris Evans of Fantastic Four fame will get to wield the patriotic superhero’s indestructible shield.

Evans, 28, is set to play the character in up to three Captain America movies plus The Avengers and several other Marvel films, The Hollywood Reporter says, citing unnamed sources.

Actors already floated as top contenders for the part have been John Krasinski, 30, from The Office, 29-year-old G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra star Channing Tatum, Ryan Phillippe, 35, and Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, 38.

“I would love to play Captain America,” Tatum told Inside Movies last week. “I dig his story.” But, he added, he had heard that another “bigger” actor was more likely to be cast.

The illustrator who redesigned the war-fighting superhero for Marvel told Entertainment Weekly that Hamm should be Captain America, hands-down.

“We’ve been saying for years, if you don’t sign Jon Hamm to play this part, you’re crazy,” said Alex Ross. “Captain America is supposed to be the patriarch of the Marvel universe. To get a guy in his early- to mid-20s is only thinking about where the character began, not what he ultimately needs to become.”

Does Evans have what it takes?