Chris Evans is in negotiations to play a key character in Little Shop of Horrors, a new big-screen take of the cult movie turned Broadway musical being directed by Greg Berlanti.
Warner Bros. is behind the project that has been flirting and courting actors since last fall. Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton are circling leading roles in the horror comedy, with Billy Porter already signed up.
Little Shop of Horrors is the story of Seymour, a meek florist who works at the aptly named Skid Row Florists, where he is under the thumb of the owner, Mr. Mushnik, but where he also is secretly in love with Audrey, who also works at the struggling shop. Seymour becomes a celebrity when he discovers a venus flytrap-looking plant he dubs “Audrey II,” but his life becomes disastrously complicated when the plant demands to be fed human blood, and eventually people themselves.
Egerton and Johansson are in various stages of talks for the respective roles of Seymour and Audrey, although discussions are ongoing and it is unclear if deals will be made. Porter, whose deal is signed, will give voice to the carnivorous plant.
Evans will play the role of dentist Orin Scrivello, Audrey’s abusive and sadistic boyfriend, who finds great pleasure in his chosen profession. The role is flashy (the character loves to use laughing gas) and comes with the scene-stealing signature song, “Dentist!”
The project is based on the 1960 Roger Corman movie that was adapted into a popular musical in the early 1980s, which itself was adapted as a 1986 movie starring Rick Moranis. Steve Martin played the dentist in that version.
Marc Platt, Sarah Schechter and Berlanti are producing the new adaptation, which is set to shoot this summer.
The Little Shop of Horrors role would reunite Evans with Johannson, with whom the actor starred in multiple Captain America and Avengers movies. He hung up his shield last year after wrapping an almost decade-long stint as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Evans also had a key role in Knives Out, helping the whodunnit become a surprise hit to the tune of $305.9 million worldwide. He next stars in Defending Jacob, a limited series drama that he also produced, which is set to debut in April on Apple+.
Evans, whose civics engagement website A Starting Point is set to launch in March, is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Sloane Offer.