So, Nick Cassavetes didn’t win the prize after all, with Captain America now officially going to Wolf Man director Joe Johnston. Still missing a script and up until this point, sans director, Marvel had looked to be dragging its heels on the project. But with the instatement of Johnston (he of  Hidalgo, Jurrassic Park III and… er, Jumanji fame) it’s picking up speed and might well come out in time to tie-in with the Avengers movie.

“This is a guy who designed the vehicles for Star Wars, who storyboarded the convoy action sequence for Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter. “From Rocketeer to October Sky to The Wolfman, you can look at pieces of his movies and see how they lead to this one.”

What’s the prognosis? Well, I’ m going to have to say the patient’s in pretty good hands with Johnston at the helm. While the weakest of the trilogy, Jurassic Park III showed Johnston knows how to deliver a tension-filled action set piece (pterodactyl enclosure, anyone?), but more than anything else I’ m just glad to see old Cap finally getting some traction. Dead he may be (see 2006’s Civil War comic crossover) but the great American patriot is still the archetypal Avenger and the idea of having an Avengers film without Cap’s own project getting off the ground just seems wrong. Just nobody mention CG monkeys.

Let’s up a star announcement follows shortly, the petition for Matthew McConaughey starts here!

The First Avenger: Captain America will hit screens in 2011.