Captain America: Civil War is a global hit earning to date nearly a billion dollars and is being bombarded with acclaim from critics and fans. Marvel Studios has stated that this film is the final one in the Captain America trilogy that started in 2011 with Captain America: The First Avenger.
Many will argue that the trilogy is nearly perfect and should be left at just three films. But we all know that money talks in Hollywood and nothing will guarantee more films than box office receipts and demand. Although some cynics will state enough is enough, what more can be done with Steve Rogers/Captain America, there are plenty of good reasons to produce a Captain America 4, starting with potential storylines. Be aware that the following will contain spoilers for Captain America: Civil War.
12. Steve Rogers Needs A Fitting Conclusion
Poor Steve Rogers just cannot seem to catch a break in his films. In the first one, he thought he was sacrificing his life to save New York City but instead was frozen and reanimated decades later, separated from his budding love. In the second film, Steve finds out the organization he works for, S.H.I.E.L.D., has been compromised. Finally in Captain America: Civil War, he is forced to become a fugitive.
We all love good drama and conflict but Captain America has earned the right for some happiness or growth. Start with a movie plot where he has to reform S.H.I.E.L.D. (face it folks, as far as the films in the MCU are concerned, the TV shows do not exist) and becomes its new leader as happened in the comic books. This development would be a fitting way to conclude his personal arc as he gets a new purpose in life. While we are at it…
11. Time Out Needed For Romance
We go to see the Captain America films for the action scenes and comic book heroics. But there isn’t anything wrong with giving Steve some time out for romance. He’s good looking and, more importantly, a nice guy who could use some romance in his life. Adding some romance might even broaden the audience for the films.
In all three films, we have seen hints of relationships, but he is unable to follow through because duty calls and gets in the way. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had him bonding with Natasha Romanov/Black Widow only to have it fizzle out in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a minor miracle that Steve had enough time to share a sensitive and overdue kiss with Sharon Carter in Captain America: Civil War. We all loved it, and even his buddies, Winter Solider and Falcon appreciated the moment.
10. Reunite Steve Rogers With Peggy Carter
Since we are on the subject of romance, how about coming up with some way to reunite Steve with Peggy Carter in her prime? Those two had a good thing going on in Captain America: The First Avenger and they never had the opportunity to explore a romance before fate got in the way and separated them.
Based on the first season of the TV series Agent Carter and a hallucination in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the two would-be lovers still carried a torch for each other. The problem is that reuniting them would be impossible for many reasons such as a now-wide age difference and that she passed away recently. That is where the handy dandy Infinity Gauntlet can come into use to manipulate time and have the two share some quality time together and part again. It would be heartbreaking but it would give them a true sense of closure.
9. A Man Out Of Time
Speaking of time, one of the most fascinating and pathos-driven nature about Captain America is that he is a modern Rip van Winkle. The biggest disappointment with the two Captain America sequels is that they never explored this facet in more detail, though Captain America: The Winter Soldier tried in the first half hour or so. But it was not enough since he seemed relatively well adjusted to his situation.
We were reminded of him feeling out of place in our world at the end of Captain America: Civil War when he writes to Tony that he never felt as if he fit in anywhere. Exploring the man-out-of-time motif is a terrific and criminally neglected plot that would make him even more sympathetic and needs to brought more to the forefront. In some ways, it is too late since he has been in our modern world for some time so he should have adjusted. Still, this can easily be remedied with a few flashback sequences.
8. Great Way To Introduce New Players Into The MCU
Captain America films are noted for introducing new players into the MCU like the Falcon, Black Panther and Spider-Man. They have also been a good way of showcasing minor characters that get their moments to shine like the Howling Commandoes, Sharon Carter, Howard Stark and Nick Fury.
What is special about the Captain America films is that unlike many MCU films, they have been able to introduce the characters organically. For other films, having many characters led to bloated messes that served to just promote other films. In the Captain America films, they get just enough relevant screen time and they contribute to the story. Plus, they add some color to the films and give Captain America someone to interact with in meaningful ways. The rich comic book lore of Captain America has many more sidekicks and supporting players that haven’t shown up on the films like Rick Jones, Jack Monroe, Rachel Leighton (Diamondback), Demolition Man, Bernie Rosenthal, Black Crow and Arnie Roth. Any of them would be a welcome addition to a Captain America 4.
7. Let’s See More Of Captain America’s Rogues Gallery
Other welcome additions not just for a fourth Captain America film but the MCU in general would be more Captain America villains. He may not have as impressive a rogues gallery as Batman or Spider-Man but our favorite Super Soldier has faced off against many interesting foes in his 75 years. The films have done a serviceable job of introducing some of them like Arnim Zola, Batroc and Crossbones.
Still, it is a shame that more villains have not appeared in the Captain America trilogy. If a Captain America 4 were to be produced some notable foes that can turn up include Doctor Faustus, the Secret Empire, Flag Smasher, Red Guardian, the Serpent Society, Mother Night and Sin, both of whom are affiliated with the Red Skull. Maybe we can even have MODOK – it would be interesting to see just how the MCU would interpret a giant head on a floating chair,
6. Bring Back The Red Skull
A future Captain America film can dwell on the legacy of the Red Skull and feature Sin as the Red Skull’s daughter or the Sleeper robots. But the Red Skull is Captain America’s greatest enemy, his own Joker or Lex Luthor. However, he was killed off at the end of the first film and has not been seen to date in the MCU. We can’t complain, because the stories for both sequels did not require the Red Skull’s presence, and frankly, he was not very memorable.
Therein lies the problem with bringing back the Red Skull. In Captain America: The First Avenger he just came off as a one-dimensional, cliché Nazi. What does not help matters is that Hugo Weaving, who played him, does not have any inclination to return to the role so he would have to be recast, not to mention there has to be a plausible reason for his resurrection. Despite all this, it is doable.
5. Steve Rogers: Fugitive
By the end of Captain America: Civil War Steve Rogers’ status radically changed for the worse. He is now a fugitive for defying the Sokovia Accords and gave up his shield. This setback is not new for Captain America. There have been several stories throughout the decades involving Steve becoming a pariah and a man without a country. They have led to him assuming other costumed identities like Nomad and the Captain as he struggled to carry on the good fight.
The way the third Captain America film ended just begs for a Captain America 4. This is not something that will be conveniently concluded in the next Avengers movie. This fugitive story deserves more than that, it deserves a solo film devoted to Steve finding a way to clear his name with some help and regain his identity and destiny as Captain America.
4. Passing The Shield
A plot point that would go perfectly in tandem with the Steve Rogers as a pariah story is one where a replacement is found to carry the shield and the identity of Captain America. It’s actually happened in the comic books several times, in fact, the current Captain America is Sam Wilson. Many fans expected the end of Captain America: Civil War to end as it did in the comic books with Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier becoming the new Captain America.
For the next Captain America film, it can adapt the Mark Gruenwald-scripted story arc that culminated in Captain America #350 where John Walker, who was a bit unhinged, became the new Captain America. Following some trials by fire he is manipulated by the Red Skull into confronting Rogers. This story would examine what it means to carry the mantle of Captain America and why Steve Rogers is the best person to do so.
3. The People Behind The Films Are Perfect So Keep Them In Place
Marvel Studios seemed to have struck the jackpot when the brothers Joe and Anthony Russo were hired to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first Captain America film was fine, but it did not stand out from the crowded superhero film pack. The sequel elevated Captain America’s status into an A-list hero with the general public.
Now Marvel Studios has rewarded the Russo Brothers by handing over the next two Avengers films to them. That would mean that even if a Captain America 4 were to be greenlit, the Russos would be too busy to direct it. That does not mean they cannot be involved with it. As long as they have a say in who directs it and who else is involved to maintain the high standards. Bottom line: the Russo Brothers have delivered well received, and super profitable, Captain America films, so why not continue the winning streak?
2. Chris Evans Is Not Getting Younger
Let’s try to put this delicately, but Chris Evans can portray Captain America for only so long before his age becomes a factor. We should not worry for a while, it isn’t as if he is playing a teenage hero like Spider-Man. But Captain America is supposed to be a man in his prime, so the older Evans gets, the harder it will be to maintain that illusion. This same situation has convinced Hugh Jackman to hang up his Wolverine claws.
Of course, Evans is in great shape and keeps a strict regimen to maintain his phenomenal physique. In that case, the folks behind the MCU films should use him as much as possible before he ages out of the role. The only barrier is that his contract for playing Captain America will soon be up and Evans has stated in the past a desire for a career behind the camera. Do not despair: more recently, Evans seems to have changed his mind about continuing to play the Star-Spangled Avenger.
1. Take Advantage Of Captain America’s Popularity
There are many reasons to continue making another solo Captain America film, but it all boils down to the fact that Captain America is very popular now. That is due in large part to the films which elevated his status among superheroes. It can be argued that he is more popular today than he ever was because he resonates with people who admire him for too many reasons to list.
Cynics will gripe that making more films is just a money grab by Disney and Marvel, but that is besides the point. Yes, that is the number one reason among number crunchers at headquarters to give the OK for Captain America 4. However, it is undeniable that these are well made films, some of the best in the superhero genre and unlike successful, but empty film franchises like the Transformers, these are quality films and the demand is there for more Captain America. There is certainly more material to use and just featuring him as part of an ensemble film or as a supporting character in someone else’s film is not enough. Captain America has earned more solo adventures on the big screen.
Do you agree with this argument? Should there be more solo films starring Chris Evans as Cap? Or should he hang up the shield for good? Be sure to drop your point of view in the comment section below.