Chris Evans to Draw the 'Knives Out' in Rian Johnson Murder Mystery

In the midst of leaving Captain America behind, Evans continues to traverse every other genre out there.

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Chris Evans has made the news for two different reasons. Firstly, he has ostensibly bid farewell to an eight-year-long journey of superherodom. Evans took to Twitter to deliver the news that he has finally wrapped on Avengers 4 and is possibly completely done with playing Steve Rogers.

Bittersweet as this may be for Cap fans, fret not! Because we’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of Evans in the near future despite his leave from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently in post-production is the biographical drama The Red Sea Diving Resort, in which he plays a Mossad agent aiding the Jewish diaspora through migration to Israel from Sudan in the early 1980s.

Furthermore, Evans keeps boarding new projects that we won’t easily write off. He has been attached to the American remake of Jekyll for some time. Based on the eponymous BBC television serial that was originally penned by Sherlock creator Steven Moffat, the film will be directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). Evans has a Neill Blomkamp (District 9) collaboration in the works, too. He also joined a stacked ensemble cast — including fellow MCU member Tom Holland — for a gritty drama from the mind of Antonio Campos (Christine). And Apple roped Evans into doing a series with them (as they’ve apparently done with the rest of Hollywood), which would put him in his first regular role on TV since his stint on the short-lived Opposite Sex ran for one season in 2000.

Evans’ filmography has never looked better or more diverse. He is booking jobs with an increasing number of renowned filmmakers and looks to make an impact across multiple onscreen mediums. He just added another eye-catching project to the list. Per Deadline, Evans will star alongside Daniel Craig in Rian Johnson‘s next film, Knives Out. The movie was a big deal at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival when it was first announced, and Evans adds considerable star power to the venture.

There is no synopsis for Knives Out available at the moment. However, we do know that Johnson wrote the screenplay himself and will collaborate with longtime producing partner Ram Bergman, who has worked with the director since his Brick days. Knives Out will reportedly feature a modern-day detective in the vein of Agatha Christie’s iconic Hercule Poirot, who Craig will play. Evans’ role is currently unknown.

Deadline’s original Knives Out announcement details that Johnson’s “contemporary version of the locked door mansion murder mystery” has been a decade in the making. The movie came together by chance thanks to Craig’s involvement. Nonetheless, considering how Poirot himself has been experiencing a resurgence of late on the big screen (albeit in a more traditional fashion), there is definitely a sense of timeliness to Johnson’s updated version of a whodunnit tale.

The fact that Johnson is diving back into the realm of crime and mystery naturally inspires reference to the emotionally harrowing noir of Brick. Yet in contrast, the quirkiness of the Poirot character also reminds me of Johnson’s most eccentric movie to date, The Brothers Bloom.

This caper flick sports an offbeat nature that absolutely exudes charm, although it importantly isn’t void of effective dramatic beats either. Led by a stunning ensemble featuring Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Rachel Weisz (The Lobster), and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), The Brothers Bloom is an utterly charismatic delight.

After the consecutive seriousness of helming both Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, something a little sprightlier could be the ideal next feature for Johnson. Of course, without more knowledge about the premise of Knives Out, we’re left only to speculate its outcome. After mastering the craft of various genre films, it’s easy to keep the faith in Johnson’s abilities, anyway.

Moreover, the cast has so far proven their versatility across enough genres that there’s no question that they could fit into whatever world Johnson throws them into. We already know Craig is no stranger to a good dose of wry humor, particularly after Layer Cake and Logan Lucky. He continues to embody the stoic 007 after over a decade and has starred in his fair share of striking drama-thrillers such as Road to Perdition and David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Evans is most well-known for playing a man of traditional steadfast values thanks to his years as the Star-Spangled Man with a plan. There’s no way he could ever shake that. Let’s turn to smaller productions like The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Puncture, and Gifted to witness a dramatic powerhouse in action, though. Evans has often been the cheesy love interest in a romantic comedy, as well, as demonstrated in The Nanny Diaries and What’s Your Number. He can also be truly irreverent on screen, when we take The Losers and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World into account.

At this point, can we expect that more flashy names will fill out the Knives Out cast at some point? Clearly, the production is off to a great start already. Although, star-studded casts aren’t always a sure bet — Sidney Lumet succeeded on that front with his version of Murder on the Orient Express while Kenneth Branagh, eh, tried — the sprawling potential of a Christie-inspired whodunnit requires the inclusion of many a suspect or sidekick. Having at least a couple of reliable actors, like Craig and now Evans, could make all the difference in elevating an elusive project such as this one.

(Columnist / Contributor)

Often chugging tea and thinking about horror movies. Particularly loves writing stuff and things with a feminist bent here at Film School Rejects.