BY JASON DAVIS
Multiplicity is a column where we explore the uncanny ability many actors have in being able to separate themselves into two, four, six or infinite number of characters across the comic book/graphic novel genre. When Tim Story cast Chris Evans as Johnny Storm back in 2005, few of us would have guessed he was on his way to playing a slew of comic book characters and become the reigning king of Multiplicity.
Fantastic Four (2005) & Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
It all started with Marvel’s First Family. Tim Story, hot off of the comedy Barbershop, was hired to helm Marvel’s superhero dysfunctional family. While he made quite a few casting mistakes, everyone did agree he got Johnny Storm right with Chris Evans.
Evans came back for the better than expected sequel, reprising his frat house/bro take on the Human Torch. Though critics preferred Rise of the Silver Surfer to the original, audiences didn’t and the flick failed to make enough money to warrant a sequel.
Sensing that playing a regular old human being was boring, Evans came back to the genre by playing a superhuman who was a ‘mover’ – i.e. a person with powerful telekinetics who can move objects to his will.
Ultimately the film failed to move audiences who responded with a box office of only $48 million (the budget for the film was $38 million). Needless to say a sequel will not be ‘pushed’ through.
The Losers (2010)
Having worked with Marvel already Chris decided to jump ship to DC by taking on the role of Jake Jensen for the adaptation of The Losers by Andy Diggle and Jock.
Jensen is your token haker – every ‘crew’ film needs one, from Sneakers to Oceans 11. Evans did a pretty serviceable job with the role, and despite the film’s ok performance there doesn’t seem to be any plans for a sequel. Yes we know the film was called The Losers…
Scott Pilgrim (2010)
Easily one of my favorite films of 2010! I was unsure about seeing the Human Torch and Superman in the same movie… but as Lucas Lee, Ramona’s skateboarding, movie acting, evil ex, Evans scored super high points.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) & The Avengers (2012)
Playing what was virtually a dual role as the scrawny Steve Rogers, and the super soldier Captain America, Chris Evans silenced critics who thought his performance would lack the authenticity and earnestness needed to bring Cap to life.
Captain America will be returning this summer as a member of The Avengers and I am sure he will be getting a sequel to his 2011 smash hit – so we will be seeing plenty more of Chris Evans in our beloved genre.