Let me preface this piece by stating that I like Chris Evans, and I think he'll make a fine Captain America. Out of all the names they were tossing around, he's by far the best. But I can't help but wonder what might have been, and why Marvel suddenly decided to play it so safe. And yes, Evans is a safe pick. He's a name, though not a big one. He's talented and charismatic, but one could say (and I don't mean this to be critical at all) that he's inoffensively so. We know we're not going to get a wooden performance, and we know he's not going to veer into weird Nicolas Cage territory. It's safe.
And I have no problem with caution. I would rather have Marvel go with something "obvious" if it makes for a good movie instead of casting the latest teen sensation, or trying so hard to be edgy that they lose sight of who the character is. To me, John Krasinski was that Michael Keaton kind of pick, and I'm glad they sidestepped it. Nevertheless, I wish they had been a little braver, and a little more patient, and truly done a hunt for An Unknown Actor as they hinted they would for the past year or more.
We live in weird times. Every three months (six if you're generous) an entertainment journalist writes a post lamenting the loss of the leading man or marveling over the fact that audiences can't or won't bank on star power any longer. (Hey, that's no knock on those pieces. I love writing those pieces too!) Gone are the days when you'd go see the new Harrison Ford movie because oh my gosh, it was the new Harrison Ford movie and you knew your money would be well spent. But now! Now is the day of the nobody, and 300 and The Hangover are proof of it, and look at all the actors who can't open a movie any more, and so on.