Captain America may not have had much to do in Avengers: Infinity War, but Chris Evans is lining up a starring role of a different sort. It was announced today that the actor will lead a new disaster thriller called Greenland, which hails from District 9 and Elysium filmmaker Neill Blomkamp. While full plot details are under wraps, the film is described as the story of one family’s fight for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster. Given Blomkamp’s penchant for tackling social issues and that title, one wonders if this story has something to do with the disastrous effects of climate change.
Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk (Sicario) is producing the new film, which has Anton onboard to co-finance with Riverstone Pictures. STX International is handling international distribution, while domestic distribution rights are currently being shopped at the Cannes Film Festival.
Evans most recently wrapped the historical thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort from Prisoners of War creator Gideon Raff and is currently starring on Broadway in the play Lobby Hero. The actor’s screentime in Infinity War was fairly limited, but the film’s writers promise a much meatier Cap story in next May’s Avengers 4—which may or may not be Evans’ final go-around with the MCU.
Blomkamp, meanwhile, has been noodling around with a few very different kinds of projects in the wake of his disappointing robot film Chappie. The filmmaker attempted to get a new Alien film off the ground, but Ridley Scott was none too pleased and essentially got Fox to halt development on Blomkamp’s Aliens sequel while he made Alien: Covenant. Blomkamp’s movie would have ignored the events of the other Alien films and brought back Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, but the project is now pretty much dead.
Then Blomkamp formed his own independent film studio Oats Studios, which released a series of short films as essentially test balloons to see which stories fans would want to see expanded into a feature-length film. Blomkamp attempted to crowdfund the financing for a feature based on his short Firebase, but the effort didn’t raise enough money to make that a reality.
It doesn’t appear that Oats Studios is involved with Greenland at all, so it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of this. In some ways, Blomkamp has never really lived up to the promise of his debut feature District 9—Elysium and Chappie traffic in the same kind of aesthetic and social issues but less successfully. What I’d really like to see is a total aesthetic shift from Blomkamp, something completely different than what he’s done before. Here’s hoping Greenland is that.