Breathing down the neck of this week’s highly anticipated “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” is Paramount Pictures’ “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which will be released July 22.
While both are enormously popular franchises, this will be the eighth and final film adaptation of the “Potter” series, while the Marvel Comics character is making his debut as a blockbuster hero.
Actor Chris Evans, who portrays the man behind the red, white and blue shield, said he approached the film like any other movie even though it would be an enormous undertaking.
“When I decided to do it, I tried to think, ‘Let’s not look at this as a gigantic comic book movie. Let’s not look at this as some giant, life-changing opportunity,'” he said. “‘Let’s just look at this as any other movie and any other script, and would I want to do this with the words on the page and the creative forces behind and in front of the camera?'”
And talent all around the camera isn’t something “Captain America” lacks. The film’s score is by legendary composer Alan Silvestri, it stars Academy Award-winning actors like Tommy Lee Jones and it has visual effects created by the same team who won an Oscar for “Inception.”
Evans saves his highest praise for director Joe Johnston, who has directed everything from critically acclaimed movies such as “October Sky” to classic family films such as “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”
“You know, Joe Johnston is fantastic. I had an amazing, amazing working relationship with him,” Evans said. “You really end up – you feel heard and you feel involved, and that’s how it should be on a film set.”
With a franchise as iconic as “Captain America,” there are plenty of product tie-ins, promotions, and toy lines used to market the film. While the idea of playing a part in the marketing machine didn’t seem to bother Evans, when asked what it feels like to know thousands of children are playing with a plastic replica of you, he said it could be a reflection of his career.
“You know, it’s one of those things, it’s tough to say,” he said. “I think if I showed up in L.A. and in the first month I booked some huge movie and in a couple – in a year, I had an action figure, I think it would have maybe been too much to swallow.”
Evans said the hard work and time he has put into his career have allowed him to enjoy these moments.
“I’ve had a very gradual career, where little things have happened slowly over time to the point where once there’s an action figure, you’re like, ‘Oh, OK, that’s – I guess that’s next,’ and that’s – you know, it’s kind of crazy,” said Evans. “I think it’s a dangerous thing to fall in love with it a bit too much.”
Evans’ career has indeed been a slowly improving trek over time. Starting off in teen comedies like “The Perfect Score,” Evans made his way into another major comic book blockbuster with “Fantastic Four,” as well as notable turns in Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine” and the Tennessee Williams adaptation “The Loss of a Tear Drop Diamond.”
Last year, Evans cemented his place in cult cinema in another comic book adaptation – director Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” While his character Lucas Lee was an arrogant former skateboarder turned action star, Evans proved he was the exact opposite.
“You know, Lucas Lee was a really fun character,” Evans said. “He’s despicable. You know, he’s this ridiculous guy. He’s a horrible actor. He has no self-awareness, but a really fun guy to play.”
“Can you imagine Lucas Lee as Captain America?” Evans said when asked how the character would incorporate his penchant for absurd one-liners and bad action movie theatrics into the role. “That should be a spoof. That’s actually hilarious.”
Up next for Evans is the “Avengers” film, which will find him reprising his role as Captain America to battle alongside other Marvel superheroes, as well the romantic comedy “What’s Your Number?” with Anna Faris.
Even if “Captain America: The First Avenger,” doesn’t reach the success of the “Harry Potter” franchise, Evans has a promising career ahead of him as a budding leading man in Hollywood.