By Darren Franich
June 08, 2010 at 03:13 PM EDT

Image Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos2009 was a big year for beloved character actor Stanley Tucci. He batted great acting back and forth with Meryl Streep as the supportive husband in Julie & Julia, and then freaked out children everywhere (and earned an Oscar nom) with his performance in The Lovely Bones. Now he’s earned his reward, Hollywood-style: a supporting role in a superhero movie! Tucci has been cast in Captain America: Please Don’t Tell Me They’re Actually Going To Subtitle This “The First Avenger” as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist whose top secret serum turns a scrawny 4-F zero into an all-American hero.

Tucci’s a great actor, so I’m not too worried about his ability to maintain a believable German accent. (As both of his rightfully-praised performances last year proved, he can definitely pull of Erskine’s mustache.) And as someone who’s been a bit skeptical about the Captain America movie, I have to say that all the choice casting announcements (Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull! Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan!) have me more and more excited for the 2011 movie. (SPOILER ALERT from here for those not geekishly aware of the comic’s history…)

Of course, we probably shouldn’t get too excited about Tucci’s involvement, since in pretty much every telling of the Captain America origin story, Erskine gets assassinated almost immediately after giving Cap the super soldier treatment. (I might be forgetting a continuity reboot, of course.) Still, it’s pretty cool that we’ve reached a point where even minor roles in superhero movie are played by great actors. And nobody deserves the visibility more than Tucci. Can he get his own HBO show now?

PopWatchers, what do you think about this latest bit of Captain America casting? Are you excited for the potential prequel spinoff, Erskine: Escape from the Fatherland?