UPDATED AT 8:00 PST: After a furious wave of rumors struck the Hollywood blogosphere over the potential casting of "The Office" star John Krasinski as Captain America, it appears as though The Hollywood Reporter has the official word on the matter for now: Krasinski is out along with original screen testers Michael Cassidy and Chace Crawford.
According to THR, still in the running are soap star and "Generation Kill" actor Wilson Bethel, "Cloverfield" actor Mike Vogel and "Fantastic Four" and upcoming "Losers" star Chris Evans who has yet to screen test for the role. All things considered, it may be a while before all the readings and tests are done and a true screen Steve Rogers can pick up his shield.
CBR's initial report follows:
Could the search for Steve Rogers be over?
Fox News' Fox411 entertainment blog is reporting that actor John Krasinski has all but walked away with the lead role in Marvel Studios "The First Avenger: Captain America," citing an anonymous source from somewhere within the studio. The actor, shown at right along with a chilly version of the superhero by artist Bryan Hitch, was certainly in the mix last month when a list of actors who were screen testing for the part hit the web, and "The Office" star was arguably the most recognizable name on the candidate roster. The film is scheduled to open in July of 2011.
The unconfirmed rumor claims that Krasinski has read four times for the part, including two separate screen tests and one of the supposed points in his favor is that the actor won't command a huge salary up front and can be locked in for a multi-picture deal (recall that salary negotiations were cited for actor Terrance Howard stepping down from "Iron Man 2"). According to Fox411, a Marvel insider claimed, "It's very likely that he will be the new Captain America. He is a favorite among the key decision makers and has been asked to come back for more this week.
"It's a surprise and we are bracing ourselves for 'that guy from "The Office"' to land Captain America. They are not really looking at the other guys, so it's time to get ready to work with him."
Of course, without official confirmation from the studio all such reports -Â even ones bolstered by word from supposed Marvel employees -Â should remain classified as rumors.
UPDATED: Hollywood rumor headquarters Deadline.com now has a report up seemingly refuting Fox411's claims and saying that not only has the part not been cast yet but that Krasinski is no longer in the running. Instead, the story reads, "Cloverfield's" Mike Vogel, "Tron: Legacy's" Garrett Hedlund and former Human Torch Chris Evans are all in the running at the time being.
Stay tuned to CBR for any more news on "The First Avenger: Captain America" as it becomes official.