Deadline are reporting that Chris Evans is set to play musical legend Gene Kelly, just as Tom Holland’s casting as Fred Astaire has been courting controversy. The story is based on an original idea by Evans himself, about a 12 year old boy who works on the MGM Lot in 1952 and begins to create an imagined friendship with the legendary movie star Gene Kelly while working on his next film.
The writer of Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd adaptation, John Logan, will write the script. He has been Oscar-nominated three times – for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and The Aviator, as well as Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Evans’ Knives Out collaborators – Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman – will produce the film, alongside Evans.
Chris Evans is of course best known for playing Captain America in the MCU, but he perhaps surprisingly was a musical theatre nerd in High School and originally wanted to make it on Broadway before his career took off in a different direction. He has long been attached to the role of Orin in a new version of The Little Shop of Horrors, but it’s unclear if that’s ever going to happen.
This is not the first time that Evans has been involved behind-the-scenes on a project. He made his directorial debut in 2014 with the romantic film Before We Go, in which he played a trumpet-player.
Evans has dabbled in singing and dancing in several of his other film roles. He took part in a large-scale song-and-dance number in 2001’s Not a Teen Movie, played a member of a struggling rock band in 2011’s What’s My Number and even briefly tap-danced at the end of 2014’s Playing it Cool.
While we wait to find out whether this Gene Kelly movie will be a full-blown musical, or perhaps something different, check out our guide to the best musicals.