'Captain America' To Be Helmed By Special-Effects Wizard Turned Director: Report

Joe Johnston's resume includes 'The Rocketeer,' 'Jumanji,' 'Jurassic Park III.'

They are men of unfathomable ability and intelligence, a group that is collectively rewriting the superhero rulebook. Now Joe Johnston is joining Marvel's elite team: the directors.

The Academy Award-winning former special-effects wizard has been tapped to helm "Captain America," according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. No writers or actors are currently attached.

A World War II period piece, "Captain America" will follow Steve Rogers, a scrawny Depression-era boy who develops a "body as perfect as a body can be and still be human" after participating in "Operation Rebirth," an experimental Army program to create a class of super soldiers. At the end of the movie, he will be frozen solid in the Artic tundra and awakened some 60 years later to fight alongside Thor, Iron Man, Nick Fury and the rest of "The Avengers," a development teased by a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in "The Incredible Hulk."

"Captain America" has a tentative release date of May 6, 2011, with "The Avengers" set to be released on July 15 of the same year, meaning any actor cast would be signing up for extensive double duty.

Johnston began his career working for Lucasfilm, where he famously helped create visual effects for "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." His first movie as a director was 1989's "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." He has since helmed "The Rocketeer," "Jumanji," "Jurassic Park III" and "Hidalgo," among others. His next project is "The Wolf Man," starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

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