Chris Evans as Captain America

The Pain of Chris Evans' Captain America Indecision

The actor just may return as the Marvel hero after all, and fans continue twisting in the wind

Courtesy: Marvel Entertainment

About two months ago, Chris Evans tweeted out a heartfelt goodbye to the role of Captain America. Millions—and I’m not exaggerating—of fans joined him somberly in his farewell. Hell, I was one of them, and I wrote why his goodbye hurt more than I thought it would. I wouldn’t do that for just any actor/character pairing. Now, as of Thursday, Joe Russo (one of the directors of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, etc.) said, “I think it was more emotional for him than us. Only because he’s not done yet. And I don’t want to explain what that means, but the audience will soon understand what I’m talking about.”

Now my instant reaction to this was a very blunt: “Why?” Was this Russo backpedaling, or a way to avoid telegraphing to the audience what was going to happen in the next film? To me, this puts a slight damper on the beautiful exit tweet (can’t believe I just said that) by Evans. What was the purpose of this? Let’s say the star does remain in the Marvel universe after the next installment. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful surprise to experience while watching the film?
After all, can anyone truly leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Characters have died in the past, sure, but we’re dealing with narratives based on comics. Wonder Woman, Punisher, Colossus are among the several who have perished in the pages, only to make a triumphant return in their source material. Wolverine alone has died at least 15 times. No joke. Maybe Russo is simply hinting that Cap will be returning in the near future. But, again: Why ruin the surprise?

Let’s say the star does remain in the Marvel universe after the next installment. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful surprise to experience while watching the film?

Nine of the 13 films Evans has starred in since 2011, when he debuted as Captain America, have been in the MCU. Given this frequency, we can see that they’re utilizing him very well. Since he’s signed off (or so we thought), maybe they’d like to keep him as Rogers, but pull back on his screen time to give the actor a bit more freedom. Narratively, it wouldn’t make too much sense for one of their series’ biggest to suddenly lose relevance in the story. He is the first Avenger, after all. I just hope Chris Evans can work on other projects more now, because he’s proven with Snowpiercer that he’s one hell of a talent.

Joe Russo is clearly a great storyteller. His wording in yesterday's quote about Evans' future seems incredibly particular, and there’s no way I can decipher exactly what he means. This piece is complete speculation, and that just may be what they want. Regardless, I’m happy to see that Evans still has more to do in this world he helped build.

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