Actor Chris Evans, who has a contract with Marvel for six films as Steve Rogers aka Captain America, has announced he is retiring from acting after his contract is done with the studio. Including the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Evans has completed three films thus far. He will appear in a third picture centering around the blue and white patriotic hero, as well as the second and third entry in the Avengers franchise.
Chris Evans had previously rejected the role two times, once when the contract was for nine films and then once again when it was scaled down to six films. The actor stated in 2011 how he had “serious doubts,” but eventually the character was too appealing for him to reject. Back then he had already contemplated retiring from acting in the near future expressing the fear of the franchise doing well and him in the midst of his contract wanting to retire. Captain America: The First Avenger made over $370 million worldwide and the sequel is, like Thor: The Dark World last year, expected to surpass the gross of the original film due to the financial and critical success of The Avengers . The actor who portrays the fearless hero has now found himself in the position he had dreaded.
The character of Captain America, and in some ways the acting of Evans himself, has a plain and ordinary personality. That trait helps make the Captain the perfect leader that he is, adding neutrality to a dynamic and ticking time bomb of a group of heroes. Rogers is definitely not as eccentric as, say, Tony Stark/Iron Man, whose actor, Robert Downey Jr. always adds plenty of gravitas to his roles. As a result, Evans and the role of Captain America is replaceable, as much as he will be missed by many.
One actor rumored to don the blue and white after Chris Evans retires is Sebastian Stan who will next portray the titular antagonist in The Winter Soldier. Stan is contracted for nine films having already fulfilled two of those in the Captain America franchise. His character, whose name was once Bucky Barnes and the best friend of Steve Rogers, eventually dons the blue and white in the comics also. The fact Stan has nine contracts makes the theory of him becoming the patriotic hero after Evans is done very likely.
In an interview with Den of Geek, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, writers of The Winter Soldier and the planned third entry, would not reveal any details about Captain America 3 except for the fact that it will involve “1950s psychotic Cap.” Their hint refers to a storyline in the comics centering around a character named William Burnside, who is an obsessed fan of Captain America during the WWII days. After Steve Rogers supposedly dies, Burnside gets plastic surgery and changes his voice to be just like his idol and soon dons the blue and white during the 1950s. He is later put into suspended animation, woken up in current day by Steve Rogers, and eventually becomes the neo-nazi villain, The Grand Director.
So far, the themes of the Captain America franchise has been about adapting to a new world and being frozen and woken up many years later – Steve Rogers in the First Avenger and Bucky Barnes in The Winter Soldier. It would thus make sense to retread the same path with William Burnside in Evans’ final Captain America film, though it may feel repetitive.
After his contract as Captain America is done, Chris Evans has his eyes on directing, stating how if he is going to act it will be under a Marvel contract. Before retiring Evans will appear this year in The Winter Soldier, next year in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, a third Captain America film rumored to be in 2016, and a third Avengers entry, likely to be in 2018. With at least four years to go, Chris Evans fans need not weep yet.
Commentary By Kollin Lore