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For nearly a decade, American actor Chris Evans starred as Marvel‘s Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The superhero role quickly made Evans one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. In 2019, Evans donned the captain’s iconic shield and uniform one last time in Avengers: Endgame before passing on the proverbial baton to Anthony Mackie’s character The Falcon.

While Evan’s MCU exit made global headlines at the time, fans now say the dramatic change was for the best.

Evans landed the Captain America role in 2010

Chris Evans
Chris Evans | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Evans’ first major film role was in 2001’s Not Another Teen Movie, reports, but the actor quickly transitioned away from teen parodies and into the world of comic book and graphic novel adaptations. “He played the Human Torch in two Fantastic Four flicks,” adds the outlet. He also starred in 2007’s TMNT, 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and 2013’s Snowpiercer.

But it was Marvel that changed his career trajectory forever. In the spring of 2010, news leaked to Variety that Evans was going to be featured in Marvel’s upcoming Captain America series. “[The] deal, which Evans’ reps are finalizing, calls for the actor to star in at least three Captain America movies, starting with The First Avenger: Captain America.”

Evans would go on to be featured in far more than just three movies, seeing his character’s storyline through to the final Avengers movie in 2019. According to Forbes, this netted Evans one of the most formidable salaries in the industry. But Evans and his superhero character gave it all up that same year.

Despite rumors, Evans’ exit from the MCU is final

In one of the final scenes in Avengers: Endgame, Captain America has time travelled to the past and decides to stay there. Back in the present day, he visits his Avengers colleagues and announces his retirement. Now an elderly man, Evans’ character hands the Captain America shield to The Falcon.

While that officially marks the actor’s exit from the MCU, rumors have long swirled that Evans was set to reprise his role.

“In a move that is sure to rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sources tell Deadline that Chris Evans is cleaning the dust off his Captain America attire as he is expected reprise the role in the MCU in some form,” reported Deadline in the early days of 2021.

The outlet goes on to add that “Evans had been very public that he would be hanging up the shield after Avengers: Endgame, with Marvel going as far as having the character hand the shield to Anthony Mackie’s character at the end of the film in torch-passing type of moment.”

Unfortunately for audience members who were hoping that this rumor would come to fruition, studio executives shot down the idea a few months later. “Marvel Studios President and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige shuts down speculation that Chris Evans is returning to the MCU,” pointed out CBR in March 2021.

Yet other fans think that Evans’ permanent departure is a positive change for the world of Marvel.

Fans on Reddit think Evans’ MCU exit is a good thing


Chris Evans Net Worth and Earnings from Marvel

With Evans gone, Marvel has moved forward with The Falcon as the new Captain America. And many viewers think the shift adds new interest and momentum to the MCU as it enters another phase in its movie franchise rollout.

“We honestly owe [Evans] a huge thank-you for letting go of Steve Rogers and allowing the movie to grow and create the new Captain America,” wrote Reddit user ParkerSNAFU on the social media platform.

“He does seem grateful for the opportunity and says playing [Captain America] encouraged him to speak up on matters he cares about,” replied another user, “but I think the fans are arguably having a harder time letting Steve go than he is…I know I am.”