By Jesse Goodwin, Staff Writer
About three years ago, Chris Evans – the actor who plays Captain America – announced plans to take a break from acting after his Marvel contract expires.
At the time, when 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and last year’s Captain America: Civil War were still upcoming, he told Variety that he wants to work behind the camera, not in front of it.
“If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing,” he said. “I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.”
His directorial debut was Before We Go (2014), a romantic drama starring himself and Alice Eve.
The film was shot in New York City over a period of nineteen days and received a limited theatrical release in the United States in 2015.
He has yet to direct another film, ostensibly because he is still acting.
Evans credits the box-office success of the Captain America series with enabling him to find work directing.
“Without these movies, I wouldn’t be directing,” he told Variety. “They gave me enough overseas recognition to greenlight a movie. And if I’m speaking extremely candidly, it’s going to continue to do that for as long as the Marvel contract runs.”
During a discussion between the actor and his team, one of his agents asked, “What if, hypothetically, some role came along and it was great?” “We are turning a corner,” he replied.
But he hinted that he may still return to acting after this career change. “For all I know, in five years [from 2014], I might say, ‘Shit, I miss acting,’” he told Variety. “Right now, I just want to get behind the camera and make movies.”
Evans could be finished playing Captain America by the end of the decade; he told Variety that he planned to stop this year. However, since that interview, he has signed on to two more Avengers films: next year’s Avengers: Infinity War and an untitled film for 2019.
In a 2015 interview with the GT Times, Chris Evans spoke about his openness to staying with Marvel past Avengers: Infinity War.
“I think it’s almost like high school. You’re kind of always looking ahead, about when you’ll graduate, but then when graduation day arrives you kind of don’t want to leave,” Evans said. “I am gonna try and focus on directing a bit more, but by no means am I done acting. And if they’d have me back, yeah, I’d probably consider it.”
Many speculate that Bucky Barnes (Captain America’s sidekick) will take Steve Rogers’s (Captain America’s civilian identity) place as Captain America after the events of last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Bucky, would thus replace Evans.
There is also debate over whether or not Sam Wilson will take over the role, as he has in the comic Captain America: Sam Wilson that started serialization in 2015.
As of now there has been no confirmation as to who will take over the role of Captain America after Chris Evans leaves, so audiences are left to speculate until an official statement is released.
In the meantime, Evans has kept himself busy with charity work in addition to acting.
He recently participated in a philanthropic endeavor sponsored by Omaze, an online fundraising platform, to support the Christopher’s Haven nonprofit, an organization he founded to provide supportive housing for the families of child cancer patients.
Through a walkie-talkie, Evans gave his voice to a Captain America doll in a Boston comic book store that was transformed into an escape room.
He asked unsuspecting patrons if they were up to the challenge, and those who agreed were required to solve various riddles and puzzles and escape to the basement of the store, where he waited for them, within a set time limit. Overcome by their shock, many failed even the easiest of tasks.
Evans teased the contestants while helping them; telling them to look for “the most subtle detail” when the clue to a solution was a giant banner. One clue involved leaving the store and asking passersby if they supported Hydra, the villain of the Captain America series.
A video of the event can be found on YouTube under the title “Chris Evans Pranks Comic Fans with Surprise Escape Room.”
The event promoted a charity contest that allows the winner the opportunity to participate in an escape room challenge of their own with the actor and three friends. At the Omaze website (www.omaze.com), fans can donate to Christopher’s Haven for a chance to win.
Potential scenarios include a murder mystery, a haunted house, and a bank robbery. After completing the challenge, the winner and friends will celebrate with Evans (with beer and burgers provided), and fly out to a 4-star hotel. All expenses are paid for by Omaze.