In the world of comic book movies, we have actors who’ve stuck with particular characters for years. For example, it’s been 16 years since Hugh Jackman’s debut as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie. And now there’s yet another one (at least) in which we’ll get to see him playing the mutant (Okay, some may say that Jackman played Van Helsing too, but the character didn’t originate in a comic book or a graphic novel. He was introduced as Dracula in an 1897 novel, so…not a COMIC BOOK character).
There are also actors who have been close to playing superhero characters more than once, but were ultimately unable to nab the roles. Jake Gyllenhaal is in this group, having been kept as a standby actor for the role of Web-Slinger’s in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 when Tobey Maguire’s return was in doubt due to his back injury. Gyllenhaal was also close to playing Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. And more recently, he turned down the role of Rick Flag in the upcoming DC supervillain team venture, Suicide Squad.
Woof. SIX characters. Ok, let’s break them down.
First we have Casey Jones in 2007’s TMNT. Casey was from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, and first appeared in the Raphael Micro Series #1 in 1985. The animated film was arguably the best Turtles movie, and Chris Evans made a fantastic Casey Jones, acting as a partner to Raphael’s nighttime vigilante activities as The Nightwatcher. Casey fought crime, and was the first to realize Raphael was going solo.
In 2010’s The Losers (based on 2003-2006’s Vertigo series), Evans played the team’s resident hacker Jensen. Both the comic and the movie were criminally underrated, so do check them out. And Evans had the all-time best scene in that film. You’ll know it when you see it.
Evan’s second-most famous role as a comic book character was most likely that of Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie and its 2007 sequel. While the movies were sub-par, Evans was well cast and had fun as the hot-headed character.
In Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 film Snowpiercer (based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige), Evans played Curtis Everett, the leader of the Shoe revolution on board the Snowpiercer, a constantly traveling train that kept humanity safe from an apocalyptic ice age. The movie was also great as hell; check it out, especially if you liked Okja, Joon-ho’s most recent film.
In 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels) Evans played Scott’s second opponent and Ramona’s second evil ex Lucas Lee, a star actor and action hero who battled Scott using his rad skateboarding skills. It’s hilarious, and director Edgar Wright just made the awesome Baby Driver, so go back if you missed this one.
He played Nick Gant in the 2009 flick Push, first appearing in the movie’s prequel mini-series, which was produced by Wildstorm.
Finally, we have Steve Rogers, Captain America. The role to end all roles. Evans absolutely owned this part. He embodied the spirit of the brave and kind hero. I love Chris Evans. Captain America is one hell of a part, and he knocked it out of the park.