While sometimes actors regret missing out on movies they turned down (Read: Charlie Hunnam for Fifty Shades of Grey), Chris Evans is probably glad he let this film go. The 2021 sci-fi thriller, Infinite, had a pretty intriguing and promising plot. After all, what part of ‘reincarnated warriors saving humanity’ does not sound entertaining to you?
Unfortunately, even though the synopsis made it sound like Infinite was going to be a valuable addition to the science fiction genre, it failed to live up to expectations. With a measly 17% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Infinite has joined the pile of forgotten films. It looks like Chris Evans made the right decision of turning the film down. The same couldn’t be said for Mark Wahlberg, who came in to fill for Chris Evans.
Chris Evans Dodged a Bullet with Infinite
Ian Shorr and Todd Stein wrote an adaptation of Infinite based on D. Eric Maikranz’s novel, The Reincarnated Papers. Soon after, Paramount Pictures bought the rights to the adaptation, which was considered to be a love child between Wanted and The Matrix, two of the most popular action flicks of all time.
In 2019, Antoine Fuqua was officially announced as the man responsible for bringing the sci-fi action film to life. Along with this announcement, it was also reported that none other than Chris Evans was in talks to play the lead role. After seeing Evans’ work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain America, it goes without saying that studios would want to have him in their action films.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Evans had to step back from the films as he was busy with Defending Jacob. Enter Mark Wahlberg. Replacing Evans in the film, Wahlberg agreed to take on the dual role of Evan McCauley and Heinrich Treadway. Unluckily for him, he was heavily criticized for his work in the movie. Polygon stated that he was “miscast” for the role and that he “should never be in a science fiction movie ever again.” Yikes.
A Look at Infinite’s Horrible Reception
Rotten Tomatoes consensus for Infinite states that while the film was intriguing at the beginning, it descends into “incoherence” and called it “as insane as it is inconsequential.” The Hollywood Reporter called it a “soulless grind.” The outlet also blasted Wahlberg for being inexpressive throughout the movie. In fact, it was listed as One of the Worst Films of 2021 by The New York Times.
As if things couldn’t get worse, the movie was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards, an award ceremony honoring the worst work in the film industry. Infinite was nominated for Worst Picture whereas Wahlberg and Sophie Cookson received nominations for Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actress.
On the other hand, the film Evans chose over Infinite, Defending Jacob, was quite well-received. With an approval rating of 72%, the drama miniseries became one of the most popular shows on Apple TV+ along with Ted Lasso and Severance. Defending Jacob was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.
It sure looks like the two projects went on completely different routes.
You can stream Infinite on Paramount+ and Defending Jacob on Apple TV+.