Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will begin in 2016, when the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters. The Phase 3 films promise a series of exciting new beginnings for the MCU (with the likes of Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel joining the fold), though it will bring some bittersweetness too, for those who've been watching Marvel Studios movie since 2008.
Most established Avengers' contracts are winding down, so moviegoers may have to contemplate an MCU without folk like Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. Their current deals are set to expire following the two part Avengers: Infinity War adaptation in 2018 and 2019, and Evans in particular is looking to move on to the next phase of his career... as daunting the prospect seems to him.
In an interview with ET (hat tip CBM) to promote his directorial debut Before We Go, Evans admitted he's both anticipating and quite nervous about being done as the Star Spangled Man (once his Marvel Studios contract is over):
“It’s almost terrifying to think about these being done. It always feels so good to kind of wrap and just say, ‘Alright, one more down.’ But it's also kind of like high school in a sense. You keep looking to when you're going to be done, and we're almost done now, and you're not quite ready for it to be over.”
The process of making a Hollywood tentpole can be a draining one (with their lengthy film shoots and accompanying press tours), but it's always seemed that the Marvel actors have had fun doing their movies. Likewise, the crossover nature of the MCU has let those actors forge friendships through their work in a way that does resemble going back to school. The Captain America role has meant so much to Evans since he first signed on, it's understandable that he's anxious about moving on - though, that's also because he's excited to start his own "Phase 2":
“I love acting and I'll always love acting. It's my first love. But I really enjoy [directing]. I'm kind of excited to take the knowledge I acquired during this process and apply it to the next one.”
Phase 3 can take Steve Rogers in a number of different directions, story-wise, but for all we know right now the character may not even be alive by the time the Infinity War wraps up. Marvel Studios has Sebastian "The Winter Soldier" Stan locked down in a nine picture deal, while Sam Wilson/Falcon actor Anthony Mackie is likewise locked in for several more Marvel films. The Marvel comic book universe has set a precedent for either of those character to take over the Captain America mantle after Steve's run is finished in the MCU - but again, that discussion is mostly speculation for the time being.
Regardless of what the future holds for Evans post-MCU, it is nice to hear that his impending breakup with Marvel is amicable; as excited as he is about directing, he clearly still has a fondness for Steve Rogers in his heart. From the sound of it, Evans is preparing to hang up his shield once the Infinity War is over... but, like his fans, he'd rather not think about it right now.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
Source: ET (via CBM)