|CHRIS EVANSKNIVES OUTLIONSGATE|
Marvel Cinematic Universe fans weathered years of back-and-forth before Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers passed Captain America’s shield to Sam Wilson in Avengers: Endgame. By the time it happened, the departure felt like it had been timed just right, especially with an incredible payoff after the seed with Thor’s hammer had been planted way back in Age of Ultron. The decade-long experience for Evans, however, almost didn’t happen. He did, in fact, turn down the role when Marvel Studios first approached him for 2011’s The First Avenger. Then he reconsidered after some advice from Mom Evans.
That tidbit arrives near the end of a lengthy Esquire interview to promote Evans role in Apple TV+’s upcoming Defending Jacob. Writer Brady Langmann met with Lisa Evans after a few hours with Chris, much of which was spent with the actor unable to comment upon reports of his involvement as the singing dentist in a Little Shop Of Horrors remake. Lots of “jazz hands” and uncomfortable expressions apparently went down, but the feature did produce this wonderful revelation from Lisa, who convinced him to seize an opportunity for which most actors can only dream:
“His biggest fear was losing his anonymity He said, ‘I have a career now where I can do work I really like. I can walk my dog. Nobody bothers me. Nobody wants to talk to me. I can go wherever I want. And the idea of losing that is terrifying to me.’ … I said to him, ‘Look, you want to do acting work for the rest of your life? If you do this part, you will have the opportunity. You’ll never have to worry about paying the rent. If you take the part, you just have to decide, It’s not going to affect my life negatively - it will enable it.'”
And the rest was history. Just think, we would have never received that killer ending line from Evans if not for his persuasive mother, and mom is always right. Now, Evans can not only let his Smug Flag fly for Rian Johnson, but he’s also taken on a challenging dramatic role with Defending Jacob, in which he plays an Assistant District Attorney and father of a young murder suspect. Talk about a rough position.
In the meantime, Evans did make it clear to Esquire that he can’t really talk about the possible Little Shop Of Horrors yet. Up until this point, he’s only addressed those reports with a surprised ? tooth emoji on Twitter.
— Chris Evans @ChrisEvans February 24, 2020Via Esquire
If you need a break from sitting around watching endless hours of TV during quarantine and want to do some reading, Rian Johnson is here to help. The filmmaker has made the shooting draft of Knives Out available for all to read. Since it’s a shooting draft it’s pretty similar to the final film, although there are a few interesting differences here and there. Mostly, though, it’s another reminder of how damn fine a script this is.
Just posted the shooting draft of Knives Out to my site. All previous scripts that don't involve outer space are up there too. https://t.co/aseGDIdwZJ
— Rian Johnson @rianjohnson March 23, 2020
Hey, remember Knives Out? One of the best movies of last year? Well, it’s back – in script form. Rian Johnson was nice enough to put the script on his site, along with all his other scripts except for The Last Jedi. It’s a fun read, mostly for the tiny little differences here and there. For instance: in the final film, when Benoit Blanc is first introduced as sitting in on the questioning of the Thrombey family, he casually taps a piano key every time he wants the line of questioning to change. In the script, he simply taps the back of a chair with his foot – which isn’t nearly as over-dramatic and memorable as the piano key thing.
Beyond that, you might notice that Johnson has a weird aversion to punctuation in some places, and more often than not, certain character’s dialogue just stops – no period, no em-dash, nothing. It’s a little jarring, but who am I to argue with the guy who wrote and directed the best Star Wars movie?
The cuts, numbering in the high teens, go into effect this week.
Lionsgate has laid off a number of employees within the film marketing and distribution team, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
According to a source familiar with the matter, some 15 to 20 employees across the entire company were given pink slips, many as part of an ongoing restructuring of the film group's marketing and distribution divisions. The source added that the layoffs had been in the works for months and were not impacted by the shutdowns caused by the growing coronavirus pandemic. No other layoffs are currently planned at the studio, which concludes its fiscal year on March 31.
Lionsgate's movie studio has seen success with Rian Johnson's Knives Out which grossed $311 million worldwide, and with a sequel in the works, Jay Roach's Bombshell $60 million worldwide and its newest release, the faith-based film I Still Believe which grossed $10 million earlier this month before theaters shuttered.
The layoffs come as Hollywood grapples with the closure of film and TV productions and movie theaters going dark to prevent the growing spread of COVID-19 amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Lionsgate was forced to push back the bows of the upcoming films Antebellum originally slated for April 24, Run May 8 and Saw spinoff Spiral May 15, opting to hold for a theatrical release rather than an early VOD release. I Still Believe and Brahms: The Boy II are receiving early digital releases to cater to the audience at home.
This is the second round of layoffs under Joe Drake, who was named chairman of the film group in 2018. In January 2019, some 25 employees were let go from the marketing and distribution teams in the company's Santa Monica headquarters amid restructuring of the theatrical marketing division, run by Damon Wolf.
In its most recent earnings report, the studio's motion picture revenues were $473.9 million, up from $362.3 million a year ago, on strong box office from Knives Out and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
Source: Hollywood Reporter