That's what the Internet's telling me, anyway.
He's not a great director (yet), but he has directed some pretty halfway alright movies: The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky. All three pretty good movies, I'd say. Certainly, they're movies with heart, which is something I always appreciate.
The Rocketeer is the key, though. It's a period film (which, I think it's now safe to say, Captain America: The First Avenger - Cap, for simplicity's sake, from here on out - is going to be), and I think having some measure of experience in trying to recreate the past would be important for anyone tacking this project, much beloved to me as it is. It's not without a sense of fun, which I think could be extraordinarily important if they're not trying to bring Ultimate Cap, but rather New Deal liberal Cap, to the screen (which I dearly hope is the case) - plus, that's always sort of what's differentiated Marvel from DC: the fun (Iron Man vs The Dark Knight). Moreover, The Rocketeer features Billy Campbell as the classic square-jawed, fair-playing, American hero that, again, classic Cap should be. It's kind of like a dry run, in a lot of ways, and I think he did himself proud the first time around (plus, you know, Nazis are the bad guys in The Rocketeer, too).
Besides, I wouldn't say that Jon Favreau had directed any revolutionary, genre-defining or -redefining movies before he got Iron Man, so directors without totally proven track records have, well, decent track records with regards to tentpole Marvel movies. Of course, this could just be me hoping.
I shouldn't be excited about this, or even okay with it. I should demand, say, a Peter Berg, or a Sam Mendes, or a Michael Mann, or any director who's demonstrated a feel for his material that goes far beneath the surface, that resonates, that makes art, but I'm surprisingly copacetic with Mr. Johnston. Maybe I still remember what it was like when I went to go see Hulk, as directed by Ang Lee, a man with a resoundedly proven track record when it comes to making art. Maybe we can leave the art to Batman, and take the fun for Marvel. I'd be more than happy with that.
For what it's worth, Joe, I've got your back until the release date. I will continue to pour over your body of work to cull more tidbits that support my case for, well, supporting you. This is, with the possible exception of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, the movie that's the most important to me, personally, that's been released in my lifetime. Moreover, I have, in my possession, 2/3 of a Cap script that, I think, is pretty damn solid, that remains among the work I've done in my life with which I'm most happy. So, no pressure.
Now, you just need to do the right thing and cast Nathan Fillion.