Chris Evans is saving the world again, this time without a superhero costume but with his Internet-approved beard.
His new action movie “The Red Sea Diving Resort” centers on a heroic international group of undercover Mossad agents who lease a deserted holiday retreat from the Sudanese government as a front to smuggle thousands of Ethiopian refugees to Israel. USA TODAY has the exclusive debut of the film’s trailer, which premieres on the streaming service July 31.
“During the day, the agents would entertain hotel guests, tourists and divers from all over the world. Then at night, they would go out into very dangerous areas and risk their lives in order to help the Ethiopians,” says writer/director Gideon Raff. “The story of Ethiopian Jews’ journey to Israel is one of great courage and sacrifice.”
The movie, which co-stars Michael Kenneth Williams, Haley Bennett, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley, is inspired by a real operation that took place at the end of the 1970s and went through the 1980s.
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“The story is as timely now as it was then,” Raff says. “The plight of refugees is in the news every minute, every day. Their struggles to reach a safe harbor and give their children a better future has never been more relevant than today.”
“Red Sea” marks Evans’ first post-Marvel role, playing agent Ari Kidron, and the erstwhile Captain America is “one of the most passionate and smart people I’ve ever met,” Raff says. “He has all the qualities I was looking for: He is a strong and brilliant natural-born leader – that’s obvious on and off the set – but at the same time he’s also vulnerable and full of heart.”
Evans is also sporting facial hair akin to his look in last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” that became a social-media sensation. The “Red Sea” beard was more of a storytelling decision, Raff says. “The story happens in the ’80s. Abundant hair was in fashion. Whether on your face or chest, the more, the merrier. We had fun with mustaches, beards, all of it.
“As for Chris, he is appealing with or without, but his beard helped convey the character of agents who went undercover in the field for months at a time,” the filmmaker adds. “I love his look in the movie.”