Chris Evans is set to co-star opposite Emily Blunt in Netflix’s Pain Hustlers, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Evans is best known as being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain America since 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, but is branching out in Hollywood after putting his superhero cap aside.
Netflix nabbed the Pain Hustlers feature package at Cannes, with Blunt starring and David Yates behind the project as director. Yates described the movie as being in the vein of The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, with Blunt playing a high-school dropout who lands a job with a failing pharmaceutical start-up in a yellowing strip mall in Central Florida.
Liza’s charm, guts and drive catapult the company and her into the high life, where she soon finds herself at the center of a criminal conspiracy with deadly consequences. Wells Tower is behind the screenplay for Pain Hustlers, which is being produced by Lawrence Grey through his Grey Matter Productions banner, along with Yates and Yvonne Walcott’s Wychwood Pictures.
Filming is set to start in August. CAA Media Finance and The Veterans shopped Pain Hustlers at Cannes. Deadline Hollywood was the first to report on Evans joining the project.
Evans is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.
With the snap of a Kevin Feige’s finger, “Avengers: Endgame” might not have been the end of Chris Evans as Captain America.
Disney+ series “Moon Knight” was set to include a possible series of cameos, including Evans reprising his famed, decade-long role as Steven Rogers. “Moon Knight” writer Jeremy Slater revealed to Discussing Film that the Oscar Isaac-led Marvel installment was prime for other MCU appearances, but ultimately the series opted to stand more on its “own two feet” in the canon.
“There were definitely different times in the writing process where we talked about cameos because cameos are one of the most fun things to discuss in a writer’s room,” Slater said, reflecting on the series. “What happens if we try to get Chris Evans back as old Captain America? You know, you sit there and play that ‘what if’ game among your writers.”
The main cameos that were “seriously discussed,” however, included Kit Harrington’s “Eternals” character Dane Whitman, aka Black Knight, due to the inherent overlap with Isaac’s Steven Grant (both work at the same museum). Other “Eternals” stars Kumail Nanjiani and Lauren Ridloff were also possible cameos for “Moon Knight” to show the original fall of Ammit and the death of Alexander the Great in a flashback sequence.
Ultimately, though, Feige encouraged production against it.
“Kevin comes to us and says, ‘You know what, guys? I know everyone loves the cameos. Everyone gets excited about it. But I really think your story is standing on its own two feet right now,’” Slater shared. “We really let [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] be our guiding light for a lot of these creative decisions because he has such a good gut instinct for it.”
Slater added, “It almost feels like shoehorning in an unnecessary cameo. Suddenly War Machine happens to be visiting Cairo at that time or something like that. It feels like it would have just jerked out of the story and really taken the focus away from the character journey that we were on between Marc and Steven. So it’s a little bit of a bummer because I like to play with all the toys in that sandbox, and I was like, give me Doctor Strange [and] Spider-Man. But at the same time, you recognize that it’s the right creative decision.”
The “Moon Knight” screenwriter also pointed to budget as an issue, saying, “‘Oh, if we’re spending [x] millions of dollars to recreate Ancient Egypt and get a lot of movie stars in here, then that’s that same amount of money coming out of our budget for the big Episode 6 fight or the stuff in the Egyptian Underworld.’ You then finally say, ‘Our money would be better spent making ‘Moon Knight’ as cool as possible versus spending that money to bring in another character and let them be cool.’ So part of it was being practical.”
As for any chance Evans might return as Cap, the “Gray Man” star said he is hanging up his shield for good…for now.
“Cap is so precious to me,” Evans said. “I almost don’t want to disrupt what a beautiful experience that was.”
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