The Trap Bound to Prevent Chris Evans From Reprising Captain America
While watching the final moments of Avengers: Endgame — gripping onto the armrests and leaning forward as if attempting to permeate the screen — MCU fans faced an emotional whiplash, coming to the realization that Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Captain America would no longer be part of our beloved group of heroes.
Tony Stark bid farewell in the most narratively appropriate way, sacrificing his life and tying a bow on his arc from selfish egotist to selfless Avenger. And, as for Steve Rogers, he relinquished the mantle, handing the shield over to Falcon.
Though Avengers: Endgame makes a future for Rogers in the MCU seem rather unlikely, fans still wonder if the actor would ever return for a brief cameo. Will Evans rear his head, five years from now, as a wise mentor still capable of a mean left-hook?
While it’s beautiful to dream of such a future, this is unlikely for one pivotal reason — one sentimental trap that Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger know all too well. The sentiment — a powerful lure that seems so innocent until it’s not — can be broken down into six words: “One more time…for the fans.”
Chris Evans, Captain America, and an adoring Marvel fanbase
Chris Evans, for nearly a decade, portrayed the shield-wielding, morally upstanding savior who always puts others first. His character — from scrawny soldier to super soldier — is beloved among MCU fans and comic book aficionados alike. His take on the character has been critically acclaimed, for he takes a difficult-to-relate-to character and makes him not only relatable but likable.
Because Chris Evans played Captain America for so many years, and was an integral member of a larger franchise, finding a way to reincorporate the character — within an ever-expanding universe that jumps between eras — wouldn’t be difficult. However, coming back would be a risky move for the actor.
Think of people like Harrison Ford and his role in Indiana Jones or Schwarzenegger in Terminator. Actors who take on such beloved characters know that fans will endlessly dream of the day they take one more spin on their respective franchise carousels. The actors then say “one more for the fans,” putting a smile on their faces, as casting directors struggle to see them in a different light.
The trap: it feels so innocent. Picking up the shield would probably feel like the right thing to do, once the dust settled. However, actors often find themselves saying “one more time” one too many times. And as a result, the movies grow weaker, the character grows stagnant, and the reviews reflect such. Chris Evans, based on his upcoming movie roles, seems well-aware of the drawbacks tied to playing one character for so many years and, he is likely, afraid of this exact sentimental trap.
The MCU star is set to play a snotty guy who enjoys telling people off in Knives Out and will take on a descendant of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Jekyll; his upcoming roles show his desire to step outside the good guy box. However, will he stay in this place forever? What will happen when several years pass; Will playing Captain America “one more time” see like a good idea. Will Evans fall victim to the trap? Only time (and emotional distance) will tell.