Chris Evans became a household name through his role as Johnny Storm / Human Torch in the “Fantastic Four” movies from 2005 and 2007. He soon followed them up with voice work in “TMNT” and “Battle for Terra” and roles in moderate live-action hits “The Nanny Diaries”, “Street Kings”, “Push” and “The Losers” (along with 2010’s overrated “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”).
In 2011, Evans made his first appearance as a different Marvel character — Captain America — in “The First Avenger”, my favorite MCU movie out of the five up to that point. Usually when you sign-on to play a Marvel character, you’re in it for the long haul. Evans would go on to appear in “The Avengers”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Ant-Man”, “Captain America: Civil War”, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame”.
In between: only a few non-MCU offerings with “Snowpiercer”, “Before We Go” and the so-so light drama “Gifted”. Evans showed-off his comedic chops (and sweater fashion) in 2019’s terrific ensemble murder mystery comedy “Knives Out”. He then made cameos in last year’s “Free Guy” and “Don’t Look Up”.
“Lightyear” marks Evans’ first non-cameo movie since “Knives Out”. And we won’t be seeing him, but hearing him often as the voice of space ranger Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s “Toy Story” prequel, which opens June 17th. I’ve screened 30 minutes of footage so far and can say that Evans does an excellent job putting his own spin on the character. Director Angus MacLane echoes those feelings. As he recently told me, “We wanted him to make the character his own and not feel like he was impersonating Tim Allen. He had a lot of respect for Tim’s performance. We wanted him to try to embody his own interpretation of it. Chris is a very facile actor. He was able to pick stuff up really quickly.”
Evans will always be known as Captain America, but depending on “Lightyear”‘s critical and box office success, this could be the NEW biggest role of his character. This summer we’ll also be treated to him in The Russo Brothers’ Netflix action thriller “The Gray Man”, alongside “Knives Out” co-star Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling. Evans will reunite with Armas for a third time in upcoming AppleTV+ action romance “Ghosted”.