** Possible SPOILERS for Civil War, but hey, nothing's confirmed yet **
It's been a while since we found out who was going the be the likely first casualty of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War; Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) had a pretty good run of it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe though right? Even got her own television show out of it, the underrated [Marvel's Agent Carter](tag:1119765), and she was allowed to live to a good old age as we saw in The Winter Soldier, a luxury not afforded to many in her line of work.
But there's another hot rumor on the coals right now, and it's the same that's been circulating ever since we found out that the next Captain America film would be based upon Marvel's Civil War storyline from the comic books. Yep, the big one: Steve's gonna bite it.
But as usual, this rumor comes from a wholly unconfirmed source - YouTube's That Hashtag Show, who claim their insider information comes from a "source close to production" on [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). This "source" claims that Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is killed off after being taken into custody at the conclusion of the film, which is exactly what happens in the comic books for points for originally there guys.
"Captain America: Civil War will end with the funeral scene for Captain America himself: Steve Rogers. During the film, Steve will make a deal with the government, stating that they are not to hunt down the people that allied with him in the Civil War. After Steve surrenders and is taken into custody he is killed."
Okay, there's a few things to deal with here. Let's begin...
So speculation about Cap's death has been floating around for a long time now, mainly because at the conclusion of the Civil War arc in the comics he is killed, shot by Crossbones and a brainwashed Sharon Carter when he's taken into custody. This does give us one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Marvel comics history, but like Tony Stark says as he stands over the body of his dead friend, it's not worth it.
Now there is scope for this happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Both Crossbones / Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) and Agent 13 / Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) are set to appear in Civil War, the former as an antagonist force out for revenge on Steve after he got his pretty face all burnt up in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](tag:254973) last year.
Speaking of which...
The Winter Soldier
Alongside the Accords being brought in by General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt), the main kerfuffle in Captain America: Civil War looks set to be centred around Steve's oldest buddy; James "Bucky" Barnes / The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and the ripples caused by his return to the world.
It would be perhaps a little premature to knock Steve out of the picture when there's still a wealth of character and narrative development opened up by Bucky's return to be explored. The Russo Brothers (Civil War directors) and Sebastian Stan himself have already commented on how different the character will be in Civil War. As Joe Russo said:
"He’s not Bucky Barnes anymore. He’s not the Winter Soldier anymore. He’s something in-between."
"Killing off" then bringing back Bucky just to then immediately kill off Steve seems a bit like chasing ones own tail, so perhaps wouldn't be the best way to serve the narrative right now. And the Russo Brothers are all about the narrative.
So it's safe to say that Civil War is gonna be one big bromance fest, especially when you factor in Falcon / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), which actually might not be a good thing.
Because if Steve does end up becoming intimately familiar with the business end of a bullet at the conclusion of Civil War, we have both the Winter Soldier and Falcon to replace him as Captain America as they have both taken up the mantle in the comics (though it's Bucky specifically who takes over as Captain America after Civil War when Steve takes the long nap).
Which leads us to...
The Actors Contracts
You see, Chris Evans still has another film on his contract post- Civil War, and he's always been pretty positive that he'd like to continue playing Captain America even after his contract ends, if Marvel would like to keep him on (which they'd be foolish not to really).
But on the other paw Sebastian Stan, who seems most likely to pick up where Steve would leave off, has a massive seven films still left on his contract after Civil War. Signing a nine-contract deal (which didn't include Captain America: The First Avenger), it looks like Stan's Bucky Barnes is definitely around for the long haul, which doesn't look good for Steve Rogers.
As for Anthony Mackie and Falcon, the details of his contract have yet to emerge. He's done two now (if you don't include his Ant-Man cameo) and though he's hinted that he's around for a while yet he's keeping the specifics close to his chest. Hmm.
So How Likely Is It?
Well... maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I do have many doubts that this will happen in Civil War. It seems pretty unlikely that Marvel would kill Cap off completely when Chris Evans still has a film left on his contract, and they've been pretty positive about including him in [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027) thus far.
Narratively again, it's important to remember that Steve Rogers is the team leader. The Avengers as a team have already gone through a major overhaul thanks to the events of [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) and will again during Civil War. They're going to need Cap if they have any hope of banding together, something which they've struggled with in both the Avengers films because apparently Joss Whedon likes to repeat himself thematically.
However, if Marvel have decided to go the way of the comics the death of Cap could be a false flag. Because, in true comic book fashion, Cap doesn't actually die when he dies.
You see, a few years after his supposed death Sharon Carter discovers that the gun she shot Steve with was in fact Doctor Doomified (that's a technical term) with technology that caused Steve not to die but to become "stuck in time". Carter managed to "unstick" him, he phases in and out of time for a bit, fighting through World War II again. After a series of convoluted events and some Red Skull meddling he's brought back to the present at the conclusion of the Captain America: Reborn miniseries.
Of course this particular narrative is very comic book-y and likely wouldn't translate so well to the big screen but there's no reason they have to follow it to the letter, that's what we have different canons for. But it does seems likely that if they do kill off Cap it'll be a false flag with the ability to bring him back for Infinity Wars (or later); killing him off completely would be a bold move and it's hard to speculate right now whether it'd be a good move or not.
As usual we'll just have to be patient and see what Marvel have in store for us when Captain America: Civil War releases next year. Until then, remember to take news of any rumors with a very large pinch of salt, especially when they come from unconfirmed sources. It's a jungle out there.