Chris Evans in 'Snowpiercer'
When one thinks of the horror genre, one name that does not come immediately to mind is Chris Evans. Appearing on the scene in Not Another Teen Movie, it seemed he was doomed to play “the handsome guy” who stars in cliché romantic comedies and action films. Despite appearing in some horror-action hybrids such as Cellular  and Sunshine, his foray into the Sci-Fi genre as Johnny Storm in the sub-par Fantastic Four film put the actor front-and-center in the public eye. This led to greater roles: he played another hero, Captain America, in the Marvel Studios produced Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers. Those roles cemented him as a force to be reckoned with as a leading man, as he is not only sporting good looks, but an ability to act as well, which he often showcases in independent dramas such as Puncture and The Iceman.

With that being said, the horror community is buzzing over news that Evans is in talks to join an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, The Ten O’Clock People, written and directed by Tom Holland (Fright Night and Child’s Play).  Evans, if he were to take the role, would be playing a businessman trying to quit smoking with an experimental drug. He believes his attempt is futile, but after a single cigarette relapse, he discovers many of the people in prominent positions of power are, in fact, inhuman monsters. Fearing he may be delusional and paranoid, the businessman joins a resistance in an attempt to shed light on their monstrous oppressors.  Holland divulges some information on the short story, explaining “This was Stephen trying to deal with his cigarette jones and the fairly new no-smoking laws back in the ’90s. This film will be a modernization of the original short story, a paranoid suspense piece.”

Concept poster for 'The Ten O'Clock People'

The original story first appearing in King’s lauded Nightmares and Dreamscapes collection, yet was not featured when that collection was adapted into an 8-episode mini-series for TNT in 2006. The story also appears to draw elements from John Carpenter’s They Live, as well as King’s other smoking-paranoia short Quitters Inc., which was featured in Lewis Teague’s Cat’s Eye film. The last wide-release theatrical King film adaptations were 1408 and The Mist, both released in 2007, although the re-adaptation of Carrie from Director Kimberly Pierce will be released this fall.

James Franco and Justin Long were once attached in the starring role of The Ten O’Clock People, but the production schedule prevented both from moving forward with the film. Evans is a hot commodity now in the film industry, with Joon-ho Bong’s sci-fi film Snow Piercer releasing later this year, as well as just wrapping filming on Justin Reardon’s romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing, and begun filming for the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could he too, have to drop negotiations? And would his obligation to The Avengers 2 may complicate his  involvement further for eventual post-production work?

The Ten O’Clock People is currently being shopped around Cannes Film Festival, and is scheduled to be filmed sometime in late 2013. Stayed tuned for more updates here at Diabolique Magazine.

– By Robert Vaughn