Out of all the key players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chris Evans (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) was the most reluctant to join The Avengers roster. The actor went back and forth with the studio, turning down a 9-picture deal, then a 6-picture deal, before finally signing on for six films (after some convincing from fellow Marvel stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo).
In recent months, there has been speculation that Evans would leave acting entirely in favor of directing once his Marvel contract is up -- after The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America 3, Evans will only have one picture left in his deal. With his directorial debut, Before We Go (originally titled 1:30 Train), premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival next week, Evans has been asked about his future with Marvel, beginning his directing career, and how those two paths may intersect.
WSJ asked Evans if he would ever consider directing a blockbuster Marvel movie. Although the actor didn’t reject the possibility, he also didn’t give any inclination that directing a Marvel film is something he’s considering at the moment.
Read Evans’ full quote:
“So me and Mark Kassen, the guy who I brought on this movie, we were just talking like ‘what’s next?’ I want to continue directing and he’s like, ‘What size movie do you want to direct?’ I don’t care. If I read the right script, if that script needs $5 million, if that script needs $50 million, I don’t care. If I read a project that’s beautiful, that I really want to make, whatever it needs, it needs.”
Evans also acknowledged that his time with Marvel opened up his directorial opportunities, claiming that Before We Go wouldn’t have gotten the green light if he hadn’t helped it along with his Marvel “notoriety” and starred in the film.
In an interview with Variety, Evans clarified his stance on whether or not he was looking to retire from acting after his Marvel contract is completed. He said that while he loves acting, he’s looking to expand creatively for the time being by taking a seat in the director’s chair.
"I'm looking to pursue directing. In the immediate future, I'm only looking to fulfill my contract with Marvel. If I'm going to act, it will be either in Marvel or something that I'm directing. And somehow, it was twisted into it would either be Marvel or I'm directing, not that I would be directing something I would act in."
So what does this mean for the possibility of Evans stepping behind the camera on a big-budget Marvel movie? The actor hasn’t completely written off the idea, and it seems his most important factor in choosing films to take on is the script. If Marvel had the right script that could win over Evans, he may jump at the chance to direct one of their films.
On Marvel’s side, they’ve found success with directors like Joss Whedon, James Gunn, Jon Favreau, as well as Anthony and Joe Russo. Each of these directors had a clear vision of what they wanted for their separate films and were - for the most part - able to work inside Marvel’s guidelines for building its Cinematic Universe. With Evans’ experiences working within the MCU in front of the camera, he may have more insight than a director coming into Marvel without that experience.
However, while an Evans-directed Marvel movie may be an exciting idea for fans, neither the actor nor the studio have said anything concrete on whether it’s an actual possibility. For now, whether or not we’ll see a Marvel film directed by Evans is mere speculation, but it could be a good way for Marvel to keep him acting in their movies.
Before We Go will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12th, 2014; The Avengers: Age of Ultron will premiere May 1st, 2015.