Marshall Movie Alumni Wrap "A Many Splintered Thing"

Updated 5 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan Filming a beach scene from "A Many Splintered Thing"
Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan Filming a beach scene from "A Many Splintered Thing"
(c) Wonderland Sound & Vision

Bleeding green and rising from ashes now has  a closer “six degrees” to the Marvel Universe.  Chris Evans (a.k.a. Captain America)  in Marvel’s “The Avengers” trades his red, white and blue shield for an anguished heart seeking to win the love of Michelle Monaghan  in “A Many Splintered Thing.” The ensemble cast includes  Luke Wilson, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Philip Baker Hall, and Topher Grace.

Anthony Mackie has played Sgt. Sanborn, , Finn and Will Johnson in Hurt Locker,  Real Steel , Abe Lincoln Vampire Killer  since he became Nate Ruffin , an injured defensive back on the 1970 team who missed the East Carolina game.  Ruffin helped bring  students, the community and remaining players together to resume playing football the year after the plane crash. 


Mackie’s star continues soaring.   He’s  playing  The Falcon with Evans and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)  in “Captain America Winter Soldier.”  The Falcon, the first African American super hero,  was created by Stan Lee. The hero hails from  Harlem wearing a suit that give him the power to fly and see through the eyes of birds.  You’ll also see him in “Gangster Squad” as Coleman Harris, a part for which Jamie Foxx was in contention.

Joining Mackie on this “six degrees” of connection, two of the  producers walked the Marshall University campus, rolled film by the fountain, returned the Campus Christian Center to the gathering place following tragedy,, and recreated the emotional scene where Keith Albee moviegoers learned of the Southern Airways jet falling from the sky.

“WAM” director McG (known for “Charles Angels” and “Terminator III”) and Mary Viola produced. Viola, who grew up in New Jersey from where numerous 1970 MU football team members hailed, is credited with shifting the studio’s consideration to the Marshall team tragedy .  Ms. Viola worked with the late HNN photographer Chris Spencer on obtaining legal clearance to display actual black and white photos of the Xavier game winning play. She gave him her seat at the Keith Albee premiere, which allowed him to walk the “red carpet” with the filmmakers.

Xavier Game Winner
Xavier Game Winner
(photo by Chris Spencer)

Not unlike re-building from tragedy and repelling super villains , Evans plays a lost in America young man who cons his way into a charity dinner . Pretending to be a philanthropist , he meets the love of his life (Michelle Monaghan), who’s engaged to someone else.  Sensing that she’s not happy, he opens a platonic friendship with her hoping it might lead to more than love unrequited.

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