The original article was posted on my old Media Observers site circa August 2014
Yesterday, various sites created a buzz about the upcoming Captain America 3 film. However, most of what is written in these articles is hefty speculation, thus leading fans to speculate even more on the fate of Chris Evans’ representation of the star spangled hero. However, this speculation is nothing new as some have speculated Cap would die in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as far back as 2013. So let’s spend some time speculating with clear heads in response to some of the knee jerk responses I’ve seen on social media.
First, let’s examine this assumption of this being Chris Evans’ last time suiting up as Captain America.
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, the site which seemingly along with MTV News broke the news on the recent buzz about Cap 3, this movie won’t be released until 2016. It isn’t even in production yet. In fact they say this at the top of the article. This means anything said now can be subject to change between now and official production. It also means anything said now can be promotional misdirection to keep all the fans and journalists off their game of accurate prediction and investigation.
- The Hollywood Reporter and MTV News articles both quote the same statement from the Russos which simply says they plan to bring closure on the storyline. If you’re familiar with comics, this could simply mean the end of a story arc. However, everyone is citing Iron Man 3 as proof this will be a formula for some of the prominent Avenger characters in the MCU, but lately there has been talk of a possible Iron Man 4 despite Tony Stark’s promise to Pepper Potts to drop the Iron Man mantle in the third installment. It’s also evident Iron Man plays a prominent role in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron which is after Iron Man 3 in the MCU timeline. So this speculative argument isn’t holding much water.
- Granted there could be legal stuff working on the back end in favor of Evans leaving the role, it’s on the back end so let’s simply work from what we know. As recent as March of 2014, it has been expressed Chris Evans is in a six movie contract. Even if you subtract Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron from that number, you still have four more movies to go. So unless you’re counting the Thor 2 cameo, that leaves Cap 3, Avengers 3 and then two more left. Granted, again, these could probably be negotiated to some sort of cameo roles, but this is all speculative without knowing the actual contractual obligations Marvel Studios has with Evans.
- However, I want to touch on one other aspect to this argument. People are citing his statements circa March 2014 about wanting to leave acting in order to direct. First there’s a problem in latching on to this. We don’t know what was going on behind the scenes to make Evans say this publicly. He could have been going through something, not agreeing with creative minds on the progression of his role as Steve Rodgers, tired of all it entails to play a superhero, well kept family drama, anything. Furthermore, I find his statement about no longer acting unless it was a Marvel movie suspicious. Especially when checking out his IMDB resume. He has recently directed and starred in a film, Before We Go (2014) and stars in another romantic comedy, A Many Splintered Thing and before Winter Soldier was released, he headlined Snow Piercer in 2012. The latter was released outside the U.S. in 2013. Thus he is not beyond acting outside of Marvel movies. While these may be Independent films and or prior to filming Winter Soldier, they still show Evans is not completely done with acting. Maybe he’s done with extremely demanding roles as the first two films listed are romantic comedies. However, the point here is people say things then change their minds. People say things because they’re experiencing something at that point in time which affects their judgment on other aspects of their life, and then later when said thing subsides, they may revisit their thoughts on a subject. Again, we have no real true idea what caused Chris Evans to feel and say the things he did about starring in Marvel movies. We can speculate, but that’s about all we can do. However, it does seem his reason for making these statements centered on the challenging nature of being an actor versus being a director. The Daily Dot brings up some good points as to why he may have felt, or still continues to feel the way he does about being Cap. I don’t want to be the main one denying Evans the right to quit something he has no more desire to fulfill or renegotiate something that isn’t fulfilling his financial needs. However, I suspect he plans to fulfill his contract then move on. Nevertheless, it is entirely plausible for the MCU to kill of Captain American in a third installment, but I think it would be more beneficial to do it in an Avengers installment. Possibly to pass the leadership role of the team on to someone more qualified. Considering the new evolutions in the comic books, it would be awesome to see Anthony Mackie wear the Captain America custom in an Avengers movie, but I suspect they will pull in Bucky since it’s widely known Sebastian Stan has a nine movie deal with Marvel. Thus it’s highly plausible he will be Captain American for tentative sequels for Cap and Avengers after the third ones for both films or whenever Chris Evans’ Steve Rodgers dies or leaves the franchise. Whichever comes first.
However, as I said in the beginning, this is all robust conjecture. The Russos could have been simply deflecting with their statements. They didn’t say anything definitive other than implying the possibility of ending Evans’ storyline with the character in solo installments. They didn’t specifically say this would be done with death, they didn’t specifically say anything. They just said it’s the formula to have a beginning, middle and end. So we’ll have to wait and see.