Is the end nigh for Captain America? Just over a week ago, Chris Evans reminded Esquire that his contract with Marvel is almost over. He's due to finish filming Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4 soon and then it would be time to hang up his shield. Fans passionately reacted to his comments as they began to contemplate what the #MCU would be like without Steve Rogers as Captain America.
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However, Collider recently had the chance to speak to everyone's favorite Star-Spangled Avenger about his possible exit from Marvel, and we've got some good news... and some bad news.
The Good News: Chris Evans is Willing to Return
Back when he was first approached by Marvel, it took a lot of persuading. The idea of a multi-picture deal terrified him, Evans said:
"If these movies take off and do very well, and my life changes and I don’t respond well, I don’t have the opportunity to say, listen, I need a f****** break. That just scared me."
Evans has played the Captain America for several years now, and he's openly toyed with the idea of stepping back once his Marvel contract came to a close. However, he now seems to be having a change of heart, telling Collider:
"It’s almost like high school. You certainly always look to senior year, and then, all of a sudden, senior year happens and you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready to go.’ It’s tough thinking about not playing the guy."
Chris Evans has been playing this role since filming on Captain America: The First Avenger began in 2010. Avengers 4 won't release until 2019. That means he'll have been associated with the Cap for nearly a decade; ten years in which he's gotten to know and love the character of Steve Rogers; ten years in which he's become a pop culture icon. That can't be easy to walk away from.
Chris Evans's Experience Working with Marvel
Ultimately, it's clear that Chris Evans enjoys playing Captain America - and he loves working with Marvel. As he observed:
"[Captain America is] a character I love, and [Marvel Studios is] a factory that really knows what they’re doing. The system is sound, over there. They make great movies. If they weren’t kicking out quality, I’d have a different opinion. But, everything Marvel does seems to be cinema gold."
He's right. Marvel Studios is a company of risk-takers - 2008's Iron Man was one of the riskiest ventures in cinema history, and Guardians of the Galaxy proved they can even get us to care about a talking raccoon and a walking tree. Last year's Captain America: Civil War is generally viewed as one of the best superhero films of all time, and I don't think it's possible for fans to be any more excited about Avengers: Infinity War. It's clear that the experience of working with Marvel has impressed Chris Evans, and as a result he's willing to return.
So What's Going to Happen Next?
According to Evans:
"The only reason it would end is ‘cause my contract is up. After Avengers 4, my contract is done."
Evans has made it clear his future in the MCU is up to Marvel. He's willing to stay on, but ultimately that's up to MCU mastermind #KevinFeige. Captain America's fate will depend on Feige's vision. Is there room for Evans's Captain America in it, or has he planned an epic conclusion to the tale of the Star-Spangled Avenger?
As he told Collider:
"Talk to Marvel. If we engage further, I’d be open to it."
Right now, it seems that Marvel hasn't even approached Chris Evans about the future of Captain America. That may well mean that Feige has plotted out an end to Captain America's journey, but it may also mean that Marvel isn't looking too far ahead after Avengers 4 right now.
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That said, most fans trust Kevin Feige knows what he's doing, hearing Evans reveal he's willing to continue in the role is great news.
It's your move now Marvel. The ball is in your court.