A couple of days ago, Chris Evans went on twitter and broke all of our hearts in less than 280 characters. He announced that he has officially wrapped up shooting on the set of Avengers 4, and that he is thankful for his time as Captain America.
Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 4, 2018
Needless to say, the internet hasn’t been the same since. Both celebrities and fans took to Twitter to share their utter sadness at the departure of Chris Evans from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I’m not crying. I’m weeping. There’s a difference.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) October 4, 2018
What a run you had brother. Congrats on breathing life into such an iconic character. Keep on keepin’ on 🤙🏾 https://t.co/yg38AcXNUi
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 4, 2018
— Shy♡ (@captonybucky) October 5, 2018
man but you can do this all life as you said😢 pic.twitter.com/VKVpsc2Cl2
— Animesh Srivastava (@animesh0109) October 4, 2018
— IMDb (@IMDb) October 5, 2018
Fanart and tributes were made to honor Chris Evan’s time as Captain America and bid him farwell. The most impactful and widely spread one was posted by SG Posters. It gained instant admiration from the fans, who were quick to reblog it and tweet about it, adding their own heartfelt goodbye messages to Chris Evans.
— SG Posters (@SG_Posters) October 4, 2018
As we try to figure out a way to deal with this news ourselves, we’re going to take a deeper look into Chris Evan’s history with Marvel, and what the future looks like for the franchise.
Chris Evan’s History as Captain America
Back in 2010, Chris Evans had signed on for a total of six Marvel movies. He had been reluctant at the time, and rejected Marvel’s offer multiple times before Robert Downey Jr. contacted him in person to convince him to get on board. He had even extended his contract, given the fact that Marvel had decided to release the last Avengers installment over two movies instead of one with the sheer amount of characters and universes involved. Chris Evans had spoken out about the contract extension then, highlighting how his perspective regarding his involvement in the MCU had changed. Over the years, Chris Evans had mentioned being wary about his involvement in another supehero franchise, given the amount of attention they receive and how he had struggled with the anxiety that came along with that idea. He worried about his lifestyle changing, about giving up his privacy, his time and freedom, and not having the luxury to back down given how long these franchises last. Since then, however, he had come to embrace the success of his role and the incredible impact it had on his career and on his growth as a person.
What’s next for Cap?
While Chris hadn’t exactly said that he was ‘officially’ done with Captain America and leaving the franchise, the tweet’s sentimental and melancholic tone was unmistakable. Some people are speculating that the tweet is an indirect spoiler for the yet untitled Avengers movie, assuming that Chris Evan’s departure means that Captain America is set to die. Others are pointing out that he just might survive, and that Marvel is planning for the character to take a step back and prepare for a comeback with a different actor down the road. If the fan theory that Avengers 4 will include time-travel – assuming that is the only way to save the universe and reverse Thanos’ doing – it could mean that Steve Rogers will choose to stay back in his original timeline and live out the rest of his days with Peggy Carter and his friends from the 107th.
Marvel fans have discussed on more than one occasion potential replacements for Steve Rogers as Captain America in the MCU. Most of the time, the next in line is said to be either Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Both actors have been interviewed about the possibility of taking on the Captain America role. Sebastian Stan mused that Bucky’s Captain America would be darker than Steve Rogers’, and Anthony Mackie promptly dodged the question, which caused fans to think he knows more about this topic than he’s letting on.
What’s next for the MCU?
Big changes are on the horizon. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalow, and Chris Pratt are all set to depart the MCU in the next couple of years. The MCU directors also talked about Phase 4 focusing on different storylines and different characters. Kevin Feige mentioned before that the MCU will be “very different” after the ending of Phase 3, which will be marked by the release of Avengers 4 next May (2019). Joe Russo also commented on this fact:
“You build things up and people enjoy the experiences you’ve built up. But then you kind of reach an apex or you reach a climax, a moment where you go, ‘This structure is really going to start to be repetitious if we do this again, so what do we do now?’ So now, you deconstruct it. We’re in the deconstruction phase with Civil War and leading into Infinity War, which are the culmination films,” – Joe Russo.
As of now, Marvel hasn’t released any official commentary on this matter, so in the meantime, we don’t actually have to deal with it. We can just all carry on with our lives in sweet, sweet denial and pretend nothing is happening. We’ve been doing it ever since Infinity War, anyways. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.