The Role Destined to Make or Break Chris Evans’ Post-MCU Career
Chris Evans — still riding the wave of Avengers: Endgame success — has been intimately tied to the shield-wielding Captain America for nearly a decade. Known for portraying the righteous, dignified, selfless hero with “America’s Ass,” Evans and his superhero counterpart have fused in fans’ minds.
Though Evans stepped outside the MCU to take a shot at directing with 2014’s Before We Go, which he starred in alongside Alice Eve, the film opened to negative critical and audience reviews.
Chris Evans most recently appeared in The Red Sea Diving Resort, which has been deemed quite cheesy and reliant on white savior tropes. Not to mention, Evans’ character, Ari Levinson, is the leader on a mission who is committed to doing the right thing (above all else); in short, Evans loses Cap’s shield but keeps his mantle.
From Before We Go to The Red Sea Diving Resort, not all of Chris Evans’ filmic affairs outside the MCU have gone over well; however, one role is destined to make or break his post-MCU career. One role is destined to challenge the actor and will show casting directors and audiences alike precisely what he’s capable of.
Chris Evans is set to play a descendant of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in ‘Jekyll’
Based on the BBC television show of the same name, Jekyll will tell the story of Tom Jackman — the only living descendant of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — who makes a deal with the dark side.
In the BBC show, Tom Jackman aims to keep his villainous, deadly alter-ego at bay by implementing various modern technologies. Tom and Hyde may share the same body; however, Hyde is stronger, his power is growing, and he knows about the precious family Tom holds dear.
Adapted from Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic novel, the character demands an actor capable of taking on the two-sided individual, without veering into the corny realm. The depiction must also pay homage to the source material while coming across as modernized to avoid an antiquated telling.
In the BBC show, James Nesbitt portrayed Dr. Tom Jackman. His doctor half was focused and quick-thinking, boasting a piercing gaze incessantly alluding to the severity of his predicament.
On the other hand, Nesbitt’s Hyde was creepy and well-aware of his ability to catalyze fear; he used this fact to intimidate and assert his superiority. Nesbitt never became the “creepy clown” trope, yet walked that tightrope delicately, making sure Hyde’s monstrous inclinations were never subverted by his knack for mental games. In short, Nesbitt’s portrayal was captivating by way of nuance.
While it’s likely that certain aspects of the narrative and character will be altered, one piece will undoubtedly remain integral: the two-sided nature of the role. Thus, Chris Evans will have to play against type (half the time), taking on a deathly Mr. Hyde at each character turn.
If Chris Evans pulls this off…
The world has seen many incarnations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — some horrendous, others breathtaking — but Evans will be the first to take on the role in several years. Thus, audiences will anticipate his portrayal of the classic character — a modernized descendant that is. This role will be met with great expectations, especially regarding Evans’ embodiment of Hyde.
If Chris Evans pulls this off, he will likely be nominated for an Oscar, as the source material alone is bound to elicit a handful of nominations. If he snags the nomination, he will have cemented his stance as an actor capable of diverse roles.
If Evans’ performance is critically panned, he will remain Captain America. A lot is running on this role; Evans will have to, for much of the time, make audiences detest him. Succeeding at such, after nearly a decade as the beloved Cap, will not be easily accomplished.