Nice work — if and when you can get it

Chris Evans, Charlie Sheen, Dan Fogelman

Chris Evans almost wasn’t the star of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” nor of its first follow-up pic, “The Avengers,” shooting right now. The deal was just too much for him. “It started out as a nine-picture deal,” Evans recalled at Saturday’s press junket for “Captain America,” opening July 22. “That’s crazy! I could be doing this until I’m 40. That’s a crazy thing to think about.”

And when Marvel Comics and Paramount Pictures brought the offer down to a six-film commitment, Evans still balked. “Even six movies. They can spread those out. That can be 10 years, you know what I mean? I don’t think anybody can make a decision for the next 10 years of your life. Movies for me, up until now, have been one at a time. And so if my passion shifted, if my search in life went somewhere else, I could go do that. This just meant I couldn’t. That’s scary.”

Evans was already familiar with signing some of his life away, having starred as the Human Torch in another Marvel comic-book series, this one based on “Fantastic Four.” But that was a three-pic deal (and only two have been made, since 2005), apparently much less daunting for the 30-year-old actor.

In the end, of course, he took the deal. “If it was one gig, it wouldn’t even have been a question. And then the more I thought about it, the more I just kind of realized you can’t make decisions out of fear, can you? I think those are the ones you’ll end up regretting more. So I went for it.”

-Jenny Peters

Charlie Sheen’s back in the sitcom biz as of Monday. But the question is who’s going to work with him. Sheen didn’t exactly endear himself to the town’s top showrunners with his tirades against “Two and a Half Men” exec producer Chuck Lorre earlier this year. Although job opportunities are still slim for TV comedy writers, several top lit agents predict Sheen’s camp and Lionsgate TV could have a hard time recruiting a prominent showrunner for a job that should probably come with hazard pay. Certainly none of the circle of scribes associated with Lorre are expected to go near the project, a series based on the 2003 Adam Sandler feature “Anger Management.”

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” screenwriter Dan Fogelman thinks he might have set a record with the new Steve Carell starrer. “I wrote this as a spec script and gave it to my agent and I said, ‘I see Steve Carell for this’ and four days later Steve said he wanted to do it and had an opening for his next movie. We were in production in three weeks. The movie was finished eight months after I finished writing it,” the scribe said at Monday’s junket at the Ritz-Carlton.

Producer Denise Di Novi said the movie could have been dumbed down and made “a lot more mainstream.”

Like “Crazy” isn’t mainstream?

“When I say it could have been more mainstream, I mean it could have been more cliched,” she explains. “What’s happening in romantic comedy, the ones leaning towards cliche are not working, people are tired of them. The movies working this summer, like ‘Horrible Bosses,’ ‘Bridesmaids,’ ‘Bad Teacher,’ would not have been mainstream movies five years ago.”

-Stephen Schaefer

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