Marvel is poised to usher in a new era following the conclusion of the Infinity Saga, but “Avengers: Endgame” left the impression that the path forward won’t include Chris Evans as Captain America or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Arguably the two central figures in the MCU for the past decade, it may be tough for fans to imagine an Avengers lineup without Evans or Downey.
When Deadline reported in January that Evans was expected to reprise his role as Captain America in potentially a smaller capacity, it looked as though fans might not have to say a permanent goodbye after all. That initial report came as a surprise to many who saw an elderly Steve Rogers pass his shield over to Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) at the end of “Avengers: Endgame,” including Evans, himself.
News to me🤷🏻♂️
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) January 14, 2021
Kevin Feige Casts Doubt on Evans Rumors
The passing of the torch from Rogers to Wilson will once again be brought to the fore in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which premieres on Disney Plus this Friday, March 19. While promoting the upcoming series, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked about the rumors of Evans’s possible return in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly. He stopped short of outright denying the report, but he did cast more doubt on its validity.
“I rarely answer no to anything anymore because things are always surprising me with what happens, but that rumor, I think, was dispelled rather quickly by the man himself,” Feige told Entertainment Weekly.
Since his final appearance as Captain America, Evans has appeared in the critically acclaimed film “Knives Out.” His upcoming projects, according to his IMDb page, include “Lightyear,” in which he plays the titular character of Buzz Lightyear from the “Toy Story” franchise, “Don’t Look Up” and “The Gray Man.”
Outside of the rumors and reports, there is no concrete evidence at this time to indicate Evans will be returning to the MCU.
Captain America’s ‘Presence’ Will Be Felt in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’
In addition to speaking with Feige, Entertainment Weekly also spoke with Mackie and Sebastian Stan, who will reprise his role as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier in Marvel’s upcoming series. Barnes is the longtime friend of Rogers in the comics and the MCU, so he is poised to feel the absence of Captain America just as much as Wilson is.
While Rogers is not expected to make an appearance in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Stan was also noncommittal with his answer about a possible Evans return in the future. However, he did explain that Evans’s portrayal of Captain America will be felt in the show.
“Anything is possible, right?” Stan told Entertainment Weekly. “I saw he tweeted something about it. So, I don’t know. I feel like usually, he knows what to say in those things, so I didn’t know what to make of it. And I truly don’t have any intel on that. I feel like you can’t ever think of the words ‘Captain America’ without thinking about Chris Evans. He’s done such an amazing job with it, and I feel like he’s always going to have this presence. And he has a presence in our show.”
That presence was felt immediately in the opening moments of the show’s final teaser trailer when Wilson is shown practicing throwing the very shield Captain America gifted him. The weight of what it means to be following in the footsteps of Captain America could very likely be a core emotion for both Wilson and Barnes in the show.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will premiere on Friday, March 19, exclusively on Disney Plus.