Avengers: Endgame will fulfill Chris Evans’s acting contract with Marvel, but should he stick with the Marvel Universe to tackle his next directing project?
As Avengers: Endgame approaches, there is much speculation regarding the future of several of our favorite characters. Who lives? Who dies? Who goes on to appear in the next phase of Marvel movies? By design, this also makes us wonder about the future of the actors who portray our favorite heroes. Once they close out their acting contracts with Marvel, what comes next?
What Comes Next for Chris Evans?
Back in 2014, before the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Chris Evans stated in an interview with Variety that after his Marvel contract was up, he would retire from acting entirely. If Avengers: Endgame is indeed his last appearance in a Marvel film, he thankfully seems to have changed his mind about retiring. He has already shot one movie since completing Endgame and has several more non-Marvel acting projects lined-up over the next few years.
Fueled by Avengers director Joe Russo claiming that Evans isn’t done with the Marvel, recent rumors suggest that Chris Evans might be sticking around Marvel in a new capacity. It was reported this week that Marvel is looking for Evans to direct future Marvel projects. I’ll repeat here that this is a rumor, but I hope the rumor proves true. Switching up between acting and directing would be a great way for Evans to keep his passion alive for both disciplines moving forward.
Before We Go
If Evans directs a Marvel project, it will not be his first time directing. He both directed and starred in Before We Go (2014). Before We Go follows the adventure of two strangers who meet in NYC. A woman misses her late-night train home to Boston and is stranded after her purse is stolen. A musician tries to help her find a way home. The story takes place over one night in a contained linear timeline. Involving several walk and talk scenes, the pacing is reminiscent of a play on stage. It’s a beautiful, quiet, and slow-moving film, heavy on emotion and connection between characters.
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Actor/director Chris Evans arrives at the premiere of Radius and G4 Productions’ “Before We Go” at the Arclight Theatre on September 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
In plenty of interviews since the release of Before We Go, Evans has expressed interest in directing again. At a recent convention appearance in October, a fan asked him what type of movie he would like to direct if he could direct his dream project. After some thought, he made reference to the Spielberg era of family films like E.T. and said he’d like to do something with a family vibe because there’s a market for those types of films when done well. The full video from the convention panel is available on Ace Universe’s Facebook page here. Skip to 22:45 to hear Evans address the question about directing. (Full disclosure: I was an attendee at that convention, you can read about my experience here. The entire panel is delightful and worth viewing.)
Styles and Genres
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An action-heavy Marvel project would be a shift from the style of his first foray into directing. While Before We Go was heavy on dialogue and connection, Marvel films are heavy on intricate fights and explosions. But it won’t be too big of a shift. Aside from the character-stacked Avengers movies, Marvel does have a knack for grounding fantastic circumstances in reality. By making the audiences care about the connections between the characters, we are invested beyond the fight scenes. The deep connection between Steve and Bucky drives the Captain America movies. The ever-shifting dynamic between Thor and Loki fuels the Thor movies. Tony and Pepper’s relationship is the backbone of all three Iron Man’s. Even the Avengers movies are connected by the conflict between Steve and Tony. Marvel has a way of developing the characters and their connections whilst delivering exciting action-heavy plots.
Chris Evans deftly crosses genres in his acting roles. It is highly likely that he will be just as successful crossing genres behind the camera. A big part of directing is knowing what you want to see on screen. With experience directing a small character-driven movie and acting experience in countless Marvel movies, Evans is the perfect choice to direct a Marvel project if he’s interested. Working with actors he knows and a crew and production team that he’s likely worked with before will only help him to improve as a director. The more projects he directs, the closer he’ll get to having the freedom to direct any genre of film he’d like.
What do you think?
If Chris Evans does stick with Marvel to tackle his next directing project, what story or character do you think he should focus on? Should it be a big-budget next-phase Marvel movie or one of the upcoming streaming series’ announced for Disney Plus? Is there another Marvel actor you think should take a shot at directing? Hit the comments and let me know.