Movie News: Chris Evans Quitting Acting; Talks Turning Down Captain America Role

Written by Andrew Pollard Monday, 31 March 2014

Movie News

A story popped up a few months ago to suggest that Chris Evans may be about to quit acting in order to focus on directing work. Surely not? This is the guy who is currently kicking all kinds of ass as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, right? Well Evans went on to confirm that this is indeed the case in a recent interview, then also revealed how he nearly turned down the Sentinel of Liberty gig altogether.

Firstly, speaking to Variety, Evans confirmed that he definitely wants to move more towards directing in the future. The 32-year-old, who recently directed the soppy 1:30 TRAIN, said, “I’ve known for a while I wanted to direct. But time never really opens up. There’s another movie to do, there’s another acting job. It just got to a point where I was like, you know what – I have to do this.”

On the idea of quitting acting completely, Evans added, “If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.” Evans is in the middle of a six-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Having already appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the actor is currently shooting AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, leaving two more possible Marvel outings at this point.

Despite possibly walking away after his six-picture deal, Evans is fully aware of the opportunity that the Marvel movies have given him. “Without these movies, I wouldn’t be directing,” he admitted. “They gave me enough overseas recognition to greenlight a movie.”

On the role of Cap, Evans described the character as “his main goal in life is to put his own interests last. He doesn’t have a brooding style. He’s not Bruce Wayne or Wolverine.” Still, the actor/director discussed his reasoning for initially turning the role down several times. He revealed, “The problem was, initially, it was a nine-movie contract. And they said, if these movies take off and do very well, and my life changes and I don’t respond well, I don’t have the opportunity to say, listen, I need a fucking break. That just scared me.”

After several other names didn’t test as well as Evans, the studio renewed their interest. “They called back and they tweaked the deal,” he explained. “It went from nine to six. I said no again. My family was even going, ‘Are you sure you’re making the right decisions?’ It started to feel like maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.”

In a separate interview with the Toronto Sun, Evans confirmed that his time on Tim Story’s FANTASTIC FOUR movies, in which he played Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch/Johnny Flame Boy, gave him hesitations about signing up for Cap. He said, “FANTASTIC FOUR had a lot to do with my concerns about playing Captain America. Those FANTASTIC FOUR movies… how do you say this correctly? If you’re going to get locked up in a long-term contract, you’ve got to make sure the movies you’re making are movies you’ll be proud of. With a lot of movies I’ve made, I’ve had something to question. And the FANTASTIC FOUR was a three-movie deal. Captain America was a six-picture contract. And Robert Downey Jr. had already set the tone with the IRON MAN movies, there was already a following. So those six movies were for real.”

Evans then revealed that Downey Jr. actually stepped in to influence his decision and make him see the potential error of his ways. “Had I not done these movies it would have been the biggest mistake of my life, my biggest regret,” Evans admitted. “In retrospect, Marvel has been a beautiful element in my life, affording me the opportunity to do such things.”

Wrapping up with this thoughts on the upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR reboot, which will see Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Evans said, “I think it’s great that they’re picking it up again. There’s a lot more story to tell, and I think Michael B. Jordan is just a phenomenal actor.”

After AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON wraps, that leaves Chris Evans with just two movies left with Marvel Studios. Given how CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 and THE AVENGERS 3 are already confirmed, it will be interesting to see what happens once Evans’ deal is up. Of course, if they were to offer him a whole boatload of cash then that may sweeten the deal. Otherwise, early rumours are suggesting that Marvel Studios is looking at some form of CIVIL WAR-type story down the line. Could we see Evans’ Rogers go out with a bang? Added to that, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, who takes on the Cap moniker in the comic book world, is only two pictures in on a nine-picture deal.

Let's see how this one pans out.

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