Project Artemis: Jason Bateman Will Direct Avengers Reunion As Chris Evans And Scarlett Johansson Join The Cast

Fresh off their Best Picture win for "CODA," Apple is doling out the big bucks on a star-studded trip to space. The studio just struck a $100 million deal on a buzzy new flick called "Project Artemis," starring former Avengers members Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Helming this reunion is "Ozark" director, star, and executive producer Jason Bateman. 

So far, plot details for "Project Artemis" are being kept tightly under wraps but per Deadline, the film is "set against the space race." Beyond that, we can also search for plot clues in the title, which happens to share a name with an ongoing NASA mission to return humans to the moon, as well as a previously pursued mission to establish a long-lasting moonbase. Whichever direction the story veers down, it sounds like the Avengers are heading to the moon! Chris Evans must be in a serious space-era phase because he's clearly going all-in on the whole spaceman routine. Legally, he's probably not allowed to spend most of this film shouting, "To infinity and beyond," but I sure hope he tries.

"Project Artemis" comes from producers Bateman, Johansson, Jonathan Lia, and Keenan Flynn, with a screenplay from actress Rose Gilroy (daughter of writer-director Dan Gilroy and actress René Russo). For Bateman, this marks an exciting return to the director's chair, coming right off of the final episodes of "Ozark," which are set to arrive in April. Bateman's other directorial endeavors include 'Here Comes The Flood," an upcoming heist film for Netflix. Meanwhile, Johansson will next be seen in Wes Anderson's "Asteroid City" and as alluded to, Evans will voice Buzz Lightyear (ahem, the man, not the toy) in Pixar's "Lightyear," coming on June 17. He also has Netflix's "The Gray Man" due later this year. 

The reign of Apple continues

If it wasn't already clear from their press tour antics, Johansson and Evans are the very best of friends. "Project Artemis" marks their third attempt to team up on a project after "Avengers: Endgame." While Johansson was once attached to co-star with Evans in the action-packed rom-com "Ghosted," she later pulled out and the role was handed off to Ana de Armas. Before that the duo were announced to star in a remake of the beloved musical, "Little Shop of Horrors," but there's been no recent word on the film's production. A couple of obstacles aside, their bid to reunite is finally on track for success.

Johansson also has other plans to team up with Apple (and A24) on "Bride," the sci-fi drama from Sebastián Lelio. While that project is in development, Evans is continuing production on the Apple film,"Ghosted." The streamer has been on a roll lately – beyond locking down these two A-listers for multiple projects, the studio has an exciting slate of upcoming films, including Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon," Matthew Vaughn's "Argyle" and the untitled F1 racing pic starring Brad Pitt. When it comes to potential Academy Award darlings and big eyeball-grabbing blockbusters, deep pockets are serving this studio very well.