captain america hopefuls 32 'Captain America': Chace Crawford? Robert Buckley? Captain Awesome?The announcement of who will play the title character in “Captain America: The First Avenger” is imminent, and as the time draws closer more and more names are being fed into the star-spangled rumor mill.

“Star Trek’s” Chris Pine, who had the web abuzz a couple weeks ago, seems to have faded from view, only to be replaced by “One Tree Hill’s” Robert Buckley. A post on Comic Book Movie last weekend connected him to “Captain America,” and although the post was taken down a few hours later, several other sites picked up on it. “Chuck’s” Ryan “Captain Awesome” McPartlin has also said that he auditioned to play Steve Rogers.

Now Deadline Hollywood is reporting that “Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford, along with Michael Cassidy (“Privileged”), Patrick Flueger (“The 4400,” “Brothers”), John Krasinski (“The Office”), Scott Porter (“Friday Night Lights”) and Mike Vogel (“Cloverfield,” CBS’ “Miami Medical”) are in contention, and at least some of them have screen-tested for the part.

(UPDATE 2/26: The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog also notes that “Young and the Restless” actor Wilson Bethel is in contention for the part.)

All of them — with the exceptions of Pine and Krasinski — satisfy “Captain America” director Joe Johnston’s wish that his lead actor be a relative newcomer to feature films. Each actor could probably also believably pull off the weakling-to-super soldier transformation that’s part of the character’s origin story.

Johnston has said he hopes to have his star locked in before leaving for London to start pre-production on the film (shooting is slated to start in the summer for a 2011 release date. Before the official announcement is made, we want to hear your thoughts. Which of these actors should play Captain America — or should it be someone else altogether?

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Could Chris Pine be Captain America?

Photo credits: WireImage (Crawford), NBC (Buckley, McPartlin)

Posted by:Rick Porter