We still have to wait a little over a year for Avengers: Infinity War to hit theaters, but talk has already begun surrounding 2019’s Avengers 4. Part of that is because the two film’s are shooting back to back. Despite claims to the contrary, it still feels like a safe bet that the fourth Avengers film will in fact be a continuation of next summer’s Infinity War. As such, news about one is inextricably tied to the other. That means recent set photos not only tease potential plots for the upcoming war against Thanos, but could also point towards the next installment in the franchise.
We’ve heard from Kevin Feige that Infinity War will be the culmination of everything that’s come before it, so many are wondering if Avengers 4 will serve as a sendoff for many of the core characters. Iron Man, for instance, has not only had his own trilogy, but has popped up across the MCU in other films. As such, we could see him finally leave the team in 2019. Similarly, it’s been known for some time that Chris Evans’ contract will be up after the fourth Avengers film, so questions have turned to whether he’s leaving the franchise.
In light of this speculation, Collider recently asked Evans whether he’d be sticking around in 2020 and beyond. And while he expressed his love of Marvel, their films, and his character, he made it clear that the decision’s not entirely up to him.
“It’s really not up to me. My contract is up. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘No more.’ I think Hugh Jackman has made 47 Wolverine movies, and they somehow keep getting better. It’s a character I love, and it’s a factory that really knows what they’re doing. The system is sound, over there. They make great movies. If they weren’t kicking out quality, I’d have a different opinion. But, everything Marvel does seems to be cinema gold. And like I said, I love the character. The only reason it would end is ‘cause my contract is up. After Avengers 4, my contract is done. Talk to Marvel. If we engage further, I’d be open to it. I love the character. It’s almost like high school. You certainly always look to senior year, and then, all of a sudden, senior year happens and you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready to go.’ It’s tough thinking about not playing the guy.”
While Marvel would of course have to sign off on Cap returning after Avengers 4, we can’t imagine they’d have a problem with it should Evans want to get portraying Steve Rogers. Then again, Robert Downey, Jr. has certainly forced them to renegotiate a contract or two, and he’s the franchise’s biggest star. While Evans is certainly a boon for the MCU, the franchise is the bulk of his career and weight in Hollywood. With that in mind, Evans’ comments could have more to do with Marvel’s reluctance to up his payday, rather than their desire to keep the character around.
Of course, there are still plenty of places for a Captain America story to go. We recently heard Samuel L. Jackson tease the return of the Red Skull in the MCU, something Steve will likely be keen on pursuing. It would also be great for a proper follow-up to The Winter Soldier. While Civil War did a lot of things well, a continuation of the more grounded thriller aspects of Cap’s second film would be a great place to further highlight characters like Sharon Carter and Bucky. While we wait for more inforamtion, stay tuned for all things Avengers 4.