Even after a disappointment like “The Wolf Man,” I find myself excited to sit down with Joe Johnston. As I said to him when I walked into the room for our interview this weekend, it’s hardwired into me at this point because of “Star Wars.” Johnston’s design work is so much a part of my overall aesthetic sense of what is good that it’s impossible for me to imagine a film world he wasn’t part of.
It’s particularly exciting to sit down with someone after you see a film you enjoyed, and in the case of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” this may be the most purely enjoyable film Johnston’s ever made. I like several of his films, like “The Rocketeer” and “Jurassic Park III,” but I don’t think he’s ever quite put it all together in as satisfying and consistent way, and this is exactly the moment you want to sit down to talk to a filmmaker.
The beginning of our conversation is pure unabashed nerd on my part, and I’ll confess, it’s one of the few moments where the ten-year-old film fan in me just plain ran the show. Hearing that Johnston has a Boba Fett film he’d like to make is catnip, pure fanboy fantasy, and as cool as I like to think I am in these situations, the picture I get in my head at that idea supersedes any observed reality on my part. Prequels? What prequels? All I want is badass bounty hunter Boba Fett racing around the galaxy picking up people and leaving piles of bodies in his wake.
For the most part, though, our conversation focused on this film, the last step on the road to “The Avengers,” and his work in bringing the most earnest of the Marvel superheroes to life.
I sincerely hope that this opens the door for Johnston to start making some of the films he’s wanted to make for a while, and that the clout of a big fat hit lets us see more of the real Johnston.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” opens this Friday.