With Avengers: Infinity War marking the beginning of the end for the first era of Marvel Cinematic Universe, the big open question has been who is planning to stick around for the next phase, and who might not make it to the end credits. (Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has said that the upcoming Avengers two-parter will be the “final chapter” for some characters, and if anyone does perish, that death will be permanent.)
High on that list has been Chris Evans, the original Captain America. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Evans has hinted that the two-parter will be his last time in the MCU:
Last year, he filmed back-to-back the final two Marvel movies for which he is under contract — “Avengers: Infinity War,” due in April, and a sequel planned for next year. For now, he has no plans to return to the franchise (“You want to get off the train before they push you off,” he said), and expects that planned reshoots in the fall will mark the end of his tenure in the familiar red, white and blue super suit.
Even before Infinity War hits theaters next month, Evans has already starred in five MCU films (three Captain Americas and two Avengers) and has appeared in some form or another in about five more. The only person who has been in as many films is Robert Downey Jr., who has been characteristically vague about his own future. Chris Hemsworth has previously said that his contract as Thor ends with Avengers 4, but has also shown interest in continuing with the character.
If Evans does leave, that would mean the end of Steve Rogers but maybe not Captain America. That mantle has gone to other people before — including both Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier).
Avengers: Infinity War will hit theaters April 27. The as-yet untitled fourth Avengers film is scheduled for May 3, 2019.