Captain America's pop culture 'catch-up' is different around the world
Imagine that you’ve been frozen in ice for 70 years and woke up to find that everything about the world — including pop culture — had changed. Where would you start? Catch up on Breaking Bad? Marathon every Star Wars film? Read up on Lost in order to argue the merits of a polarizing series finale? (Then again, perhaps reading up on How I Met Your Mother would be more pertinent right now…)
Marvel’s The Avengers gave us a peek into how Captain America himself, Steve Rogers, struggled to understand the complexities of the new world he had just awoken to (you know: aliens, catchphrases, Tony Stark’s sarcasm), but fighting to save the world alongside five other superheros didn’t really give us a lot of time to focus on how everyone’s favorite super-soldier was adapting to the 21st century. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hitting theaters Friday, finally gives us an update on that.
In the film, which picks up roughly two years following the events of Avengers, Cap’s got a new partner (Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow), a new sidekick (Anthony Mackie’s Falcon), a new enemy (Sebastian Stan’s The Winter Soldier), and, it seems, a heck of a lot to learn about what’s considered important in the modern world. Just take this list, which includes all the things Steve has apparently been keeping track of based on what people have told him are absolute musts to catch up on sometime this century:
While it’s fun to see well-known items on there (Steve Jobs! Nirvana!), what’s more fun is that Marvel has amended its choices to jive with what different countries would consider “recognizable” popular culture biggies. Empire magazine tweeted out the list for the U.K., but the studio actually has specific lists for 10 different markets, including France, Germany, Italy, and Korea. For Korea, viewers will see soccer player Ji-sung Park and Dance Dance Revolution (hey, Captain America needs to know how to play popular games); for Germany, the list includes Oktoberfest and the Berlin Wall (amusingly, both “up” and “down” are noted); and for France, Daft Punk and the 1998 World Cup are among the highlights.
This technically isn’t the first time Marvel has tweaked their movies for other countries in some way (Iron Man 3, for example, included extra footage of Chinese actors and also product placement that was specific to the country). But it is a cool easter egg that speaks to Marvel’s dedication to ensuring that the movie resonates around the world.
What suggestions would you give to Steve about what he needs to see in your country? (The cast recently offered their own takes during a promotional press conference in London.)