It's been no secret that Captain America star Chris Evans has been planning on taking a break from acting after his Marvel contract concludes, culminating in : [The Avengers 3](movie:738027): Title Pending but it's The Infinity Gauntlet. What we didn't know is how long that break would be, and as Evans revealed in his latest interview with Variety, Cap - or at least his iteration of everyone's favorite patriot - could be hanging up the shield for good.
“If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. ...I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.
Evans went on to clarify:
“The problem was initially, it was a nine-movie contract. And they 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-ing break. That just scared me."
"They called back and they tweaked the deal. It went from nine (films) to six. I said no again. My family was even going, ‘Are you sure you’re making the right decisions?’ It started to feel like maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.”
Mild spoiler that you probably already know about Winter Soldier follows
Comparisons to Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan's contract being nine films have naturally led some to theorize Stan would be stepping into Captain America's shoes in fulfillment of Marvel canon. Considering what Evans said next, that theory is sounding far more likely.
“That’s a good question. We can do this out loud. (‘Avengers 2’) will shoot till August. I wouldn’t be surprised if for all of 2015, we didn’t do a movie. I bet by 2017, I’ll be done.”
I wasn't one to subscribe to the notion that Evans being replaced by Stan was Marvel's plan all along. Marvel has been trying to sign bigger and bigger contracts with their stable of actors in order to avoid the notorious RDJ contract re-negotiations, and Evans clearly stated that he was initially offered a nine-film deal but negotiated it down to six. That being said, there are several things leading me to reconsider my stance:
1) Evans clearly stated he is pretty much done after Avengers 3.
2) Sebastian Stan does have a nine-contract film deal.
3) Joss Whedon loves to subvert audience expectations and kill off beloved characters.
4) The Captain America brand is building momentum thanks to non-stop buzz for Winter Soldier and the " [Batman vs. Superman](movie:711870) vs. Cap" stand-off.
5) Marvel has no problem replacing anyone.
6) Marvel is planning to bump-up annual film output.
Now, remember point three?
If Evans wants to leave acting, Stan has three more films, and Whedon is directing Avengers 3, can you honestly think of a more emotionally resonant, fan-expectation-shattering, poetic denouement for the first avenger?
I want to know what you guys think; so, let's vote!