The ever expanding and increasingly complex film version of the Marvel Universe continues to spread its roots throughout Hollywood, as A-listers and up and coming young stars alike sign on to key roles in a number of Marvel Studios productions. Their latest acquisition? Edgy British thespian Dominic Cooper.

Yes, according to Movieweb, it's finally official: after months of rumors, Marvel has officially announced that Cooper, who is best known for his work in 'An Education' and 'Mamma Mia!,' will be co-starring in 'Captain America: The First Avenger' in the role of patriotic industrialist and inventor par excellence Howard Stark.

Stark, you may recall, has already appeared on film in this summer's mega-blockbuster 'Iron Man 2.' In that movie the character was played by 'Mad Men's' John Slattery in a flashback sequence set in 1974. 'Captain America,' however, is set during World War II, meaning that the silver-haired Slattery is just a bit too old to reprise the role. The ever expanding and increasingly complex film version of the Marvel Universe continues to spread its roots throughout Hollywood, as A-listers and up and coming young stars alike sign on to key roles in a number of Marvel Studios productions. Its latest acquisition: British thespian Dominic Cooper.

Yes, according to Movieweb, it's officially official: After months of rumors, Marvel has officially announced that Cooper, who is best known for his work in 'An Education' and 'Mamma Mia!,' will be co-starring in 'Captain America: The First Avenger' in the role of patriotic industrialist and inventor par excellence Howard Stark.

Stark, you may recall, has already appeared on film in this summer's mega-blockbuster 'Iron Man 2.' In that movie the character was played by 'Mad Men's' John Slattery in a flashback sequence set in 1974. 'Captain America,' however, is set during World War II, meaning that the silver-haired Slattery is just a bit too old to reprise the role.

So what will Cooper's version of Stark be doing exactly? Well, plot details for 'Captain America' are still sketchy, but his appearance in 'Iron Man 2' offers some hints, as Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury character indicated that Howard Stark was one of the founding members of the secret superhero espionage squad SHIELD. Considering Fury is slated to appear in 'Captain America,' it's a good bet we'll see the origins of SHIELD play out on screen, not to mention the creation of a more literal shield: Captain America's iconic round shield appeared in 'Iron Man 2' as well, meaning there's a decent chance Stark will be the inventor behind it's amazing adamantium properties.

Besides Jackson, Cooper joins a cast already teeming with stars, including Chris Evans, as Captain America, Hugo Weaving, as the Red Skull, and ingenue Hayley Atwell, as Peggy Carter. The whole gang will be on display in all their star-spangled glory starting on Jul. 22, 2011.

CATEGORIES Movies