ESQUIRE – The artist formerly known as Captain America is found in seclusion at his rambling farmhouse, set back from the road on a couple of sylvan acres in the Boston suburbs, not far from his childhood home. It’s a warm, late-winter afternoon. The trees are bare. The sky is clear. Patches of melting snow cover the ground.
With his fortieth birthday on the horizon, Chris Evans seems to have undertaken a retreat, returning to familiar ground to regroup. The Marvel Cinematic Universe now behind him, the actor has the time, money, and wherewithal to pursue anything he wants.
All he has to do is figure out what.
Evans is sitting in an armchair by an unlit fireplace in an area off the kitchen, an informal sort of room you might call a den. The furnishings appear to be mid-century modern, a style often seen in Los Angeles, where he has a house in the Hollywood Hills. Evans is welcoming but not warm, broish in a manner that bespeaks form over content. In person he seems very much like the guy onscreen; his upper torso is sculpted in a way that suggests he’s still wearing his Avengers uniform under his green tartan flannel shirt. His ball cap has a shamrock on the front panel.
Evans’s mutt is snoozing at my feet, letting out the occasional fart. His name is Dodger, after Evans’s favorite character in the Disney movie Oliver & Company—the roguish mongrel who leads Fagin’s gang of orphans. The pair met in 2016 at a Savannah rescue shelter where Evans was filming a scene for the feel-good movie Gifted.
You would never know it from the spotless condition of the premises, but last night Evans hosted friends for karaoke. I ask him his favorite song choice. “You can’t go wrong with Billy Joel,” he says. (Coincidentally, it was Joel who voiced Dodger in the animated film.) His lifelong crew includes a cardiologist, an engineer, a computer guy. Like Evans, they’ve made good but stuck around, rooted in their home soil, die-hard fans of the Red Sox, and the changing seasons.
Evans’s latest acting project, Defending Jacob, is about to debut on Apple TV+. On the show, he plays an assistant district attorney in a small town who finds himself torn between his professional responsibilities and his love for his teenage son, who has been accused of a gruesome murder. As the episodes proceed, Evans’s character confronts his own secret past.
The limited series was shot in the Boston suburbs. “It felt like I had a regular nine-to-five job,” he says. “I’d sleep in my own bed; I’d see my family on weekends. A lot of times you have a bit of a nomadic lifestyle as an actor. You live out of suitcases and in cities you’re not familiar with. Doing Jacob made me feel like I was home but still doing what I love. It was incredibly comforting.” His real estate holdings notwithstanding, he considers this his home. He spends a lot of time with his brother, the actor Scott Evans (One Life to Live, Grace & Frankie); his younger sister, Shanna; and his older sister, Carly, and her children. He often calls his mom, Lisa, ten minutes before dinner to tell her he’s coming over to eat.
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VARIETY – Paramount has dated Chris Evans’ past-lives drama “Infinite” for Aug. 7, 2020.
The studio has also moved Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America” sequel off that date and back four months to Dec. 18, 2020. That holiday date had been occupied by James Cameron’s “Avatar 2,” but Disney announced on Tuesday that the sequel was moving back a year.
Antoine Fuqua is directing “Infinite,” produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian at Di Bonaventura Pictures, and John Zaozirny. John Lee Hancock and Ian Shorr are adapting D. Eric Maikranz’s novel “The Reincarnationist Papers,” which is centered on the Cognomina, a secret society of people who possess total recall of their past lives. A troubled young man haunted by memories of two past lives stumbles upon the centuries-old secret society.
Earlier this year, Paramount had set the Aug. 7, 2020, for its untitled sequel to the 1988 Murphy comedy “Coming to America.” The studio hired “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer to direct the project.
The original movie was directed by John Landis, with Murphy playing a charming African prince who traveled to New York City to escape an arranged marriage. Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos co-starred in “Coming to America,” which was a major hit, grossing nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office.
Brewer and Murphy recently worked together on “Dolemite Is My Name” for Netflix, about comedian Rudy Ray Moore.
Chris is featured on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter for the March 27th issue. Check out the amazing shoot in the gallery and I’ll add scans from the issue soon!
Photoshoots & Portraits – 2019 – Session 001 | The Hollywood Reporter
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Ahead of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ the progressive Captain America actor and Twitter firebrand says he’s ready to retire his Marvel hero for directing gigs, a new Apple show and the fight against the “dumb s—” president: “I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t speak up.”
It’s a Friday afternoon in February, and the view from Chris Evans’ house in the Hollywood Hills consists mostly of fog. He bought this place for $3.2 million in 2013, back when he was two hit movies into his seven-film stint as Marvel Studios’ Captain America; there’s a Zen-ish garden inside the front gate, and a stone Buddha sits by the door. Evans banishes his dog, Dodger, to the guest room, shuts off the TV in the family room (CNN on mute), cracks a can of Modelo, and takes a seat on the couch. His arms are insane, as thick as thighs.
Evans has a movie coming out in a few months — an intimate little passion project called Avengers: Endgame (April 26). It’s the sequel to last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which raked in $2 billion worldwide and ended with Thanos (Josh Brolin) disintegrating half of Earth’s population, including the still-bankable likes of Black Panther and Spider-Man. The moody trailers for Endgame are designed to reveal even less than usual, but it’s safe to assume that Captain America rallies Earth’s mightiest surviving heroes for a rematch with the mad god who finger-snapped their friends and loved ones into oblivion, which means this will be the first of the four Avengers movies to depict actual avenging.
Evans — who made $15 million for the past two Avengers films, up from $300,000 for his first stint as Captain America — has said he’s done playing the character after this. It’s been reported that he intends to retire from acting entirely. And yet the announcements of new work keep coming. He’s in Rian Johnson’s crowded-house murder mystery Knives Out, due in November. He’s playing the father of a teenager accused of murder in Apple’s forthcoming limited series Defending Jacob. He’s in talks to star in Antoine Fuqua’s Infinite as a presumably Chris Evans-ish guy who can recall his past lives. It’s a crowded dance card for a newly retired 37-year-old actor, and when I bring this up, Evans gets as annoyed as he’ll get all afternoon.
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DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: As one door seemingly closes, another looks to be opening. I understand from sources that Captain America star Chris Evans is joining Daniel Craig in Rian Johnson’s red-hot murder mystery movie Knives Out.
The casting bolsters the project’s status as one of the hottest in the works at the moment and follows MRC’s big money deal for it out of Toronto. As we previously broke, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Johnson, who wrote the script and is producing with partner Ram Bergman, will make the movie before directing a new trilogy in the Star Wars universe.
Plot details on the film are largely being kept under wraps but the pic will likely shoot this year, meaning Craig will shoot it before Bond 25. It is understood to be a modern day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style.
The project is timely for Evans on the day that speculation is in overdrive about him hanging up his Captain America shield after playing the Marvel stalwart since 2011. Anthony and Joe Russo’s latest installment in the Avengers franchise will hit next year. The in-demand actor also has thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort coming up and he was set for Neill Blomkamp’s Greenland during Cannes. Knives Out is expected to be his next movie.
Evans is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Meyer & Downs.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – The ‘Captain America’ star will return to television after filming the final ‘Avengers’ film.
Add Chris Evans to the list of feature film stars headed for television.
The Captain America star will topline and executive produce the crime drama Defending Jacob, which has landed a straight-to-series order at Apple.
Based on William Landay’s 2012 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, the project — which is being billed as a limited series — revolves around Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney who investigates the slaying of a 14-year-old boy and discovers his teenage son is a suspect. The character-driven thriller will run for eight episodes.
Mark Bomback (the Planet of the Apes trilogy) created the TV take and will pen the script, exec produce and serve as showrunner. The drama hails from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman will exec produce for Anonymous Content, while Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, TV’s Counterpart, Jack Ryan) will exec produce and direct the series.
Defending Jacob marks Evans’ first TV role in nearly two decades. His only other series regular role was on the Fox dramedy Opposite Sex, which ran for one season (eight episodes) in the summer of 2000. The actor next will reprise his role as Captain America in Marvel’s final Avengers feature, which will be his last time playing the iconic superhero. He recently starred on Broadway in Lobby Hero and is primed to begin production on the feature The Devil All the Time. Evans is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jason Sloane.
For Apple, Defending Jacob becomes the tech behemoth’s latest scripted foray. It joins a roster of scripted originals including Amazing Stories, Are You Sleeping, Calls, Central Park, Dickinson, Little America, Little Voice, See and the untitled Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon morning show drama, as well as entries from Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shymalan and more. Still to be determined is when — and specifically how — Apple will unspool its rapidly growing roster of high-profile projects.
Defending Jacob is Apple’s latest buy from Paramount TV, joining the Jon M. Chu-directed Hilde Lysiak drama and the international fantasy drama Shantaram. The studio, which recently replaced ousted president Amy Powell with Nicole Clemens, has multiple series set at every streaming outlet, including Netflix (13 Reasons Why), Hulu (Catch-22) and Amazon (Jack Ryan), among others. The studio has a long-running deal with Anonymous Content, which is where Clemens was prior to being tapped to replace Powell.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Christine and Simon Killer director Antonio Campos has set up his next film just in time to be a hot Toronto sales package. Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Chris Evans and Tracy Letts are in talks to star in The Devil All the Time. The pic is an adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s 2011 novel that Campos and Paulo Campos penned. Antonio Campos will direct. The film will be produced by Randall Poster, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker of Ninestories Productions. Production is set to get underway in February 2019.
The novel’s plot: In a place called Knockemstiff, Ohio, a forgotten backwoods of this country – a storm of faith, violence and redemption brews. Out of desperation to save his dying wife, our protagonist Willard Russell turns to prayer which succumbs to sacrifice. His son Arvin (Holland) is growing from a kid bullied at school into a man who knows when to take action. The cast of characters includes a serial killer couple, a faith-testing preacher and a corrupt local sheriff (Evans) in a story told across two decades.
The Devil All the Time now joins other film projects on the burner for Campos, who has signed on to rewrite and direct the Fox Searchlight horror film Splitfoot, and is aboard to direct a prequel to The Omen for 20th Century Fox.
Campos is coming off last year’s critical hit Christine, and has been busy on the TV side of late, directing and executive producing USA’s The Sinner starring Jessica Biel. As a producer, his credits include Martha Macy May Marlene, James White, The Eyes of My Mother and Piercing.
Endeavor Content is raising the financing and will broker distribution.
BOSTON GLOBE – Betrayed by the system. Cast out by his beloved country’s leadership. Suddenly, bitterly at odds with longtime friends. It sure has been a rough couple of movies for Chris Evans’s Captain America.
“Government and the military were always where he looked to find order and a sense of home,” says Sudbury native Evans, speaking by phone from New York. “In ‘The Winter Soldier,’ when those failed him, his chosen family became the thing he would set his watch to. Then, in ‘Civil War,’ that fell apart.”
Audiences looking for the old familiar Steve Rogers, super soldier, may have to sit tight for a bit in watching “Avengers: Infinity War.” “There’s been this period of sadness and disillusionment, where you go inside yourself for a while,” he continues. “But we’ll see him reemerging and reconnecting.”
Evans, 36, shared further thoughts on the new movie — and his seven-year tour of duty as Cap — during a day off from his Broadway debut, “Lobby Hero,” a revival of a drama by “Manchester by the Sea” writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.
Q. You’ve been playing Captain America since “The First Avenger,” back in 2011. Has the process of making these movies changed for you?
A. During the first couple of films, I was a little overwhelmed, I suppose. You’re grateful to be there, but also intimidated by the magnitude and the responsibility. But then as you get more and more comfortable with the process, everything kind of ascends in unison. The people that you’re working with start to become family, you become much more familiar with the way these things come to life, and you can start being more precise and involved.
Q. What’s been most fulfilling about the way you’ve been able to develop Cap over this many movies?
A. It’s exciting to actually get to grow with a character and find a more broad, long-term arc, versus having to accomplish something in an hour and a half. But to be honest, none of it would really work if it weren’t for the people at Marvel. They care so much about the characters because they’re fans themselves. You just do this one small thing, and then you get to stand on their shoulders.
Q. Which actors do you interact with most out of the sprawling “Infinity War” cast? And are Marvel’s pairings purely about the story, or does chemistry figure into it?
A. I think they factor in a lot of things — who the fans enjoy watching together; who the characters benefit from, based on their natures, where they’re trying to send each one. Without spoiling anything, I’d say I have a lot of stuff with Scarlett [Johansson] again this time. One of Cap’s through-lines has been his relationship with Black Widow. It’s an unlikely friendship, where they really depend on each other in a very specific way.
Q. Is the physical aspect of playing Cap and the toll it takes still comparable to when you started?
A. No, I definitely can feel myself aging a little. There were a couple of moments in the script where I read them and thought, “Wow, this is going to be a challenge.” It’s still fun to go to work and really throw yourself around, and it’s rewarding to go home on those days and feel you contributed and gave it everything you had. But it certainly is a bit harder to wake up the next morning [laughs].
Q. If there’s some part of Cap’s iconography that people now think of specifically as a Chris Evans touch, what would you hope it is?
A. Being selfless without being sanctimonious. It’s a danger — he’s a very magnanimous character, very noble, and I think that can slip into piety pretty easily. So trying to keep that sense of being a good man without, basically, being annoying [laughs].
Q. That’s quite a mustache you’re sporting for the cop character you play in “Lobby Hero.” Should fans be bracing themselves when they catch you on the “Avengers” publicity circuit?
A. Yeah, sadly, I can’t take that off [laughs]. That thing’s with me for the next month.
NY TIMES – Chris Evans has a theory about tap dancing. “Tap is waiting to have its day,” he said one recent afternoon, sitting in a TriBeCa hotel clubhouse around the corner from an apartment he’s been renting since last month. Mr. Evans, or Captain America, as he’s been known in omnipresent Marvel movies for the better part of a decade, tapped as a child and still has sincere reverence for the form. His theory is that tap dancing today, like competitive hip-hop dancing in the early 2000s, is generally undervalued and ripe for a comeback.
“If you walk down the street and you see someone tapping,” you stop in your tracks, he said, using an unprintable word, “because it’s awesome.”
Twice a week since he’s been living in New York, Mr. Evans, who ordinarily splits his time between his native Boston and Los Angeles, has taken refuge in tap, clearing his mind and working up a sweat in private lessons taught by a friend. The lessons aren’t preparation for any role in particular, although Mr. Evans is hard at work on a pivotal one: his Broadway debut, as a charming but manipulative cop in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Lobby Hero,” which is now in previews and opens March 26 at the Helen Hayes Theater.
The dancing, rather, is just a low-pressure new hobby (“It makes me feel like I’m a part of the music,” Mr. Evans said.) Along with the play, and the move to a new city, it’s one component in an ad hoc but inevitable process — not quite a rebirth, more like a re-orientation — designed to help the 36-year-old actor answer a nagging question: What do you do with your life after walking away from the role of a lifetime?
Since 2011, the year “Captain America: The First Avenger” was released, Mr. Evans’s face (and torso, and biceps) has signified a marketable mix of principled strength and rank-and-file virtue as reliably as any in Hollywood. He was a working-class revolutionary in the dystopic thriller “Snowpiercer,” a stoic defender of the public school system in the indie family drama “Gifted,” a cunning spy who risks everything to save a persecuted minority in the soon-to-be-released “The Red Sea Diving Resort.”
VANITY FAIR – On a sweltering October weekend, the largest-ever group of Marvel superheroes and friends gathered just outside of Atlanta for a top-secret assignment. Eighty-three of the famous faces who have brought Marvel’s comic-book characters to life over the past decade mixed and mingled—Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, bonded with Vin Diesel, the voice of Groot, the monosyllabic sapling from Guardians of the Galaxy. Angela Bassett, mother to Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, flew through hurricane-like conditions to report for duty alongside Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Laurence Fishburne, and Stan Lee, the celebrated comic-book writer and co-creator of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.
Their mission: to strike a heroic pose to commemorate 10 years of unprecedented moviemaking success. Marvel Studios, which kicked things off with Iron Man in 2008, has released 17 films that collectively have grossed more than $13 billion at the global box office; 5 more movies are due out in the next two years. The sprawling franchise has resuscitated careers (Downey), has minted new stars (Tom Hiddleston), and increasingly attracts an impressive range of A-list talent, from art-house favorites (Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange) to Hollywood icons (Anthony Hopkins and Robert Redford) to at least three handsome guys named Chris (Hemsworth, Evans, and Pratt). The wattage at the photo shoot was so high that Ant-Man star Michael Douglas—Michael Douglas!—was collecting autographs. (Photographer Jason Bell shot Vanity Fair’s own Marvel portfolio shortly afterward.)
But it wasn’t Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury or even Chris Evans’s Captain America who assembled Earth’s mightiest heroes. They came for Kevin Feige, the unassuming man in a black baseball cap who took Marvel Studios from an underdog endeavor with a roster of B-list characters to a cinematic empire that is the envy of every other studio in town. Feige’s innovative, comic-book-based approach to blockbuster moviemaking—having heroes from one film bleed into the next—has changed not only the way movies are made but also pop culture at large. Fans can’t get enough of a world where space-hopping Guardians of the Galaxy might turn up alongside earthbound Avengers, or Doctor Strange and Black Panther could cross paths via a mind-bending rift in the space-time continuum. Other studios, most notably Warner Bros., with the Justice League, have tried to create their own web of interconnected characters. Why have so many failed to achieve Marvel’s heights? “Simple,” said Joe Russo, co-director of Avengers 3 and 4. “They don’t have a Kevin.”
Before Feige, Marvel Studios wasn’t even making its own films. Created in 1993 as Marvel Films, the movie arm of the comics company simply licensed its characters to other studios, earning most of its money from merchandise sales. (The popular 2002 Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movie, for example, was made by Sony’s Columbia Pictures.) Feige was part of the team that pushed for the studio to take full creative control of its library of beloved characters, a risky move at the time. “For us old-timers—me and Robert [Downey] and Gwyneth [Paltrow] and Kevin—it felt like we were the upper-classmen,” Jon Favreau, director of the first two Iron Man movies, told me shortly after the photo shoot. “We were emotional . . . thinking about how precarious it all felt in the beginning.”
RTE – Avengers star Chris Evans has told RTÉ Entertainment that he does not know if he would be interested in reprising his superhero role as Captain America ten years down the line for a gritty movie in the vein of Hugh Jackman’s recent X-Men spin-off Logan.
Evans, who is back on Irish cinema screens from this weekend in the family drama Gifted, is due to finish up his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the two-part Avengers: Infinity War in April 2018 and April 2019.
Asked by RTÉ Entertainment if returning as an older, wearier Captain America was part of his career plan, Evans admitted that it was “tough to say for sure”.
“I mean, I love the character,” he continued. “I love my time in the Marvel world. And Marvel is certainly the ‘Midas touch machine’ – everything they do is quality.
“So I would never question whether or not it would be of a calibre that I would be interested in. My creative appetites kind of change with the tides, so who knows what I’ll be feeling down the road.”
Gifted has been described as Kramer-vs-Kramer-meets-Good Will Hunting and follows Evans’ odd job man Frank as he battles to raise pint-sized genius Mary (Mckenna Grace) as a normal child.
When put to Evans that the film feels very much like an actor looking to life after Marvel, he replied: “That’s never the intention. I don’t really approach my career in terms of how I’m perceived or what people will expect of me. I follow my creative appetite – whatever I feel like pursuing that’s what I pursue.”