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Chris Evans is Officially Done as Captain America After Avengers: 4

We knew this day was coming. Exactly eight years to the day that Marvel announced that Chris Evans was going to be Captain America, a new profile of Evans in the New York Times confirms that he’ll be putting down the shield after Avengers: 4. From the Times profile:

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.

What this means for Marvel, and the future of the character, won’t be answered right away. What it does mean is the stakes in the upcoming two films, beginning with Avengers: Infinity War, due out on April 27, and then Avengers 4 on May 3 of 2019, are finally going to be life-or-death for some of the MCU’s biggest stars. Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige had already promised that the two films, especially Avengers 4, will have catastrophic events that will reshape the Marvel landscape. Feige told Vanity Far this about Avengers 4: “[It] bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale. There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting.” Might one of those things be Captain America’s death?

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. L to R: War Machine (Don Cheadle), Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

This news isn’t shocking, considering Evans has long been one of the MCU’s big stars whose contracts were expiring. Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner are all looking at similar situations. Despite the fact that Hemsworth’s Thor seems to becoming a bigger part of the MCU, with the massive critical and commercial success of Thor: Ragnaork, and the fact that Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo just said he has a massive role in the film, Thor’s fate going forward isn’t certain.  We’ve been hearing that Johansson’s Black Widow is supposed to be getting her own movie, but until it starts pre-production, that, too, can’t be counted on. This is to say nothing of where Iron Man may end up—lots of folks think he’ll be sacrificing himself in Avengers 4. The Russo brothers themselves have promised some shocking deaths.

Evans confirming what we already knew was very likely is still a big deal. He’s been one of the faces of the MCU, taking on the difficult role of playing the straight man, and managing to invest Steve Rogers with depth, soul and that rarity in American life these days, valor. His official departure, as well as the expiring contracts for the aforementioned stars, means that the next two films will carry a lot more weight, because for the first time since the MCU began with 2008’s Iron Man, one of these superheroes, if not more, may pay the ultimate price.

Featured image: Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Photo: Film Frame. ©Marvel Studios 2018

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The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.