Exclusive: Ryan Phillippe Confirms ‘Captain America’ Audition

'After Superman, he was kind of my favorite,' actor tells MTV News.

The pool of leading Hollywood men reportedly up for the role of Captain America — a crew so diverse it has at one time included funnyman John Krasinski and action-flick vet Chris Evans — has grown by one. MTV News has exclusively confirmed that Ryan Phillippe will audition for the part.

During a conversation at the South by Southwest music and film festival on Monday (March 15), the 35-year-old Phillippe himself revealed that he’s set to audition for what would be the lead role in “The First Avenger: Captain America.”

“[I] actually am going in to meet on ‘Captain America,’ which is kind of cool,” he said. “After Superman, he was kind of my favorite.”

Phillippe’s potential audition was first published by HitFix.com, which cited unnamed sources in reporting the news.

The planned film focusing on the high-profile Marvel Comics superhero, and his alter ego Steve Rogers, is set for release in July 2011, but the lead role has not yet been cast. Last month, actors said to have auditioned included Krasinski, Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”), Scott Porter (“Friday Night Lights”), Mike Vogel (“Cloverfield”) and Michael Cassidy (“Smallville”). Comedian Dane Cook mentioned on his Twitter account that he’d also auditioned. And then earlier this month came word that Krasinski was out and Chris Evans (“The Fantastic Four”) was now a candidate, as were Garrett Hedlund (“Tron Legacy”) and Wilson Bethel (“Generation Kill”).

During the MTV News interview, Phillippe didn’t offer any other details about the upcoming audition. The role of Captain America would mark Phillippe’s first appearance in a comic book adaptation. Last summer, he wrapped a role as a military man in the action comedy “MacGruber” and last appeared onscreen in 2008′s “Stop-Loss.”

“Captain America” is set to be directed by Joe Johnston (“The Wolfman”) with a screenplay written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (“The Chronicles of Narnia”).

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