Chris Evans may not be saving the world wearing the Stars and Stripes in Gifted, the new movie from Marc Webb, the director of (500) Days of Summer, but he is still a hero – albeit of a less obvious kind than Captain America – as he plays a dedicated single step-father in this new tearjerker drama.
The 35-year-old American actor plays Frank Adler, a man seeking custody of his late sister's seven-year-old daughter, Mary, who possesses prodigy-level intelligence.
As the two-and-a-half-minute trailer reveals, Frank is eager to provide a normal, happy life for the gifted Mary, played by McKenna Grace – but this is before her teacher (Jenny Slate) discovers her intellectual prowess. The drama heightens as Evelyn, his estranged mother (Lindsay Duncan), enters the picture wanting to adopt Mary to "maximize her potential".
You can be sure of on-screen chemistry because this picture supposedly marks the beginning of a real-life romance between the two co-stars, Evans and Slate. Each made a strong impression on the other when they first met on set.
Chris Evans and Jenny Slate at Secret Life of Pets premiere
"I didn't know what to expect when I met Chris," explained Slate in an E! News report. "I was a little scared because I kind of felt like, 'Well, I don't know him. He's a giant man with huge muscles and he's Captain America. How could we ever connect?' [But] the first night that we hung out, I was like, 'Wow, I could hang out with Chris for, like, 90 hours.'"
Evans's sentiments about Slate were the same. "Oddly enough, I've only known Jenny for a few months, which is insane to say because we're like the same animal," he said.
Gifted premieres worldwide in theaters on April 12, 2017.