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Chris Evans in talks to play Gene Kelly in new film

The 'Captain America' star is in line to portray the musical legend

By Joe Goggins

Chris Evans in a still from 'Knives Out', 2019
Evans in 'Knives Out', on which he also worked with Rian Johnson. (Photo: YouTube)

Chris Evans is step into Gene Kelly’s dancing shoes on screen, according to reports.

Sources have confirmed to Deadline that the ‘Captain America’ star is in talks to play the legendary song-and-dance man in an as-yet-untitled film based on an original story idea from Evans. Set in the 1950s, the movie would follow a 12-year-old boy working on the MGM studio lot who finds an imaginary friend in Kelly as he works on the set of his newest film.

No studio is yet attached to the project, but John Logan is in line to produce, as well as to write the screenplay. Logan is a seasoned screenwriter known for the likes of Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’, Sam Mendes’ ‘Skyfall’, Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’.

Joining Logan on production duties will be Evans himself, as well as his ‘Knives Out’ collaborator Rian Johnson and his production partner Ram Bergman. No release date has yet been confirmed, but Evans fans are already well catered for this year; 2022 will see the long-anticipated arrival of ‘The Gray Man’, an action thriller helmed by ‘Avengers’ directors Joe and Anthony Russo that, with a budget north of $200 million, is set to become the most expensive Netflix movie to date. 

Evans will re-team with ‘Knives Out’ co-star Ana de Armas for the film, which also stars Ryan Gosling. Also in 2022, he’ll voice Buzz Lightyear for the first time in the upcoming ‘Toy Story’ spin-off, ‘Lightyear’, which is set for release on June 17th. He will not feature in the forthcoming ‘Knives Out’ sequel, which sees Daniel Craig’s return as ‘gentleman sleuth’ Benoit Blanc bolstered  an all-new cast. The sequel, again written and directed by Johnson, is in post-production, having shot in Greece last year.

Kelly, the iconic star of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘On the Town’, died in 1996, at the age of 83. A biopic has long been rumoured, but has yet to materialise.