Chris Evans is “dying” to get his project about the legendary actor Gene Kelly off the ground, but if or when he does, Evans knows he’s got a lot of work ahead of him.
The 40-year-old actor spoke with ET’s Matt Cohen at press day for his new Disney Pixar film, Lightyear, on Thursday at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, and he offered some details about the project that truly has his juices flowing.
“God, I’m dying to get that thing on its feet, no pun intended,” he tells ET. “I love dancing, tap dancing. I love, love, love Gene Kelly. It’s not a biopic by any means. It’s more of a kinda voice, kind of fantastical interpretation of Gene Kelly but it’s something that will require a lot of work.”
Evans added, “This isn’t something you can just kind of say, ‘Yeah, dust off the tap shoes and dive in.’ This is something that will take months and months to kind of perfect and make sure that I do it justice. But I can’t think of anything more exciting.”
Earlier this year, there were reports that the Knives Out star originally conceived the project. At the time, the untitled film was yet to have a studio attached. According to Deadline, the film is about a 12-year-old boy who works on the MGM lot in 1952, and creates an imagined friendship with Kelly, who is working on his next film.
Kelly, of course, is the legendary actor known for classics like Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris and On the Town. The Pittsburgh native, who died in 1996, is credited with introducing ballet to film audiences and transforming Hollywood musicals. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1992 and is No. 15 in the American Film Institute’s list of Greatest Male American Screen Legends. (Humphrey Bogart is first.)
Evans is reportedly set to do the Kelly project alongside Mark Kassen. Three-time Oscar nominee John Logan will produce and write the script. Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, who worked with Evans on Knives Out, have also signed on to the project via their T-Street Productions.
In the meantime, Evans has been busy making the rounds promoting Lightyear, which opens in theaters June 17. Earlier this week, he opened up to ET bout delivering Buzz’s most famous line — “To infinity and beyond!” — admitting it was genuinely “nerve-racking.”
“Because it’s something that we all know from someone else,” Evans said, referring to Tim Allen’s delivery of the line as Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise. “So it’s big shoes to fill and you want to put your own interpretation on it, but you also have to make sure you pay homage to what we all know and what we all love.”