WARNING: This article contains major SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
Steve Rogers received a beautiful sendoff in Avengers: Endgame but is there any chance the character could return for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Even though the future of Marvel Studios is still bright, the superhero lineup underwent a dramatic shift with the loss of Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, and presumably, Steve Rogers.
Technically, Steve Rogers is not dead unlike a few of his fellow Avengers, but his time as Captain America has officially come to an end. Ever since his introduction with 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers has become a cornerstone to the MCU, leading the Avengers team with his unrelenting eagerness to never give up on a fight. He fought to the end, greatly assisting in taking down Thanos for good. But by the end of the movie, Steve passed on the Captain America torch.
Time travel is tricky and the details in Avengers: Endgame made the concept even murkier. After the team defeated Thanos, Steve volunteered to return the Infinity Stones to their rightful locations along the timeline. Rather than return back to the 2023 present of Endgame's ending, however, Captain America stayed behind to live out a full life with Peggy Carter. Many viewers were left thinking that this meant two different Caps existed, although Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo suggested that Steve traveled back to an alternate dimension to reunite with Peggy.
How Steve could then return back to the Endgame timeline as an old man remains unclear, but he knew exactly when and where to return to pass on the mantle to Sam Wilson (Bucky Barnes was expected to be the new Captain America, but the decision to pick Falcon also makes sense). Regardless of method, Avengers: Endgame seemed to be the closing chapter of Steve Rogers. Or did it? In truth there are multiple ways Chris Evans could appear in future Marvel projects.
The Avengers Could Get Steve Rogers To Fight A New Threat
Time travel has already been established as a key aspect of the MCU by Avengers: Endgame (even if it can have very serious consequences). If the Avengers find themselves in serious need of an experienced, they could travel to the 1940s to re-recruit Steve Rogers for their cause, bringing him to the future briefly before returning him to his life with Peggy.
While the suggestion of Avengers: Endgame's ending is that Steve retired forever and lived a quite, normal life, there's still massive room for him to have gone back into action. And even if he believes himself retired from that life, a big enough threat (perhaps from across the multiverse) could see that change. Even if Marvel wants the original Steve Rogers to live happily ever after, it would still be conceivable to pluck a Steve from elsewhere in the timeline (although the Cap vs. Cap fight in 2012 suggests it'll be difficult to convince him).
Of course, there's now the presence of the multiverse as introduced per the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer. With alternate versions of Earth, who knows how many Captain Americas exist. Thanos' snap evidently ripped a hole through the dimension allowing those from other dimensions to travel to the primary MCU dimension, as is (allegedly) the case with Mysterio. Could the Avengers find a Steve Rogers from another dimension willing to help out with a future threat?
Older Captain America Could Mentor Falcon
But there's still a Captain America without any time travel: Old Man Steve. Clearly, he would no longer be able to take part in the field with his current state, but that doesn't remove him playing a role in future events. When Steve suddenly aged in a recent comic book storyline, he also gave up the Captain America role to Sam, but stayed involved by becoming a coordinator for the Avengers, planning their various missions. Despite his age, Steve keeps hold of his sharp mind and intuitions. It's possible that the MCU could go in a similar path but instead have Steve mentor Sam during his transition into Captain America.
As a veteran of the United States Air Force Pararescueman who kept his jetpack-powered wings, Falcon fought closely beside Steve following his introduction in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The pair formed a strong bond based on their mutual respect for one another, with the fact that they were both soldiers giving them a better understanding of the other's lives.
Sam will undoubtedly need some guidance as he takes over as Captain America. Even though he has extensive experience fighting alongside the Avengers, he's never been a primary member. Sam transition from Falcon to Captain America is assumed to be a focus in the upcoming Disney+ series, Falcon & the Winter Soldier. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are set to reprise their MCU roles for the upcoming limited series, but it would be very interesting if an aged up Chris Evans also appeared in the series to make Sam's transition a little easier.
Would Chris Evans Return To Marvel?
Chris Evans has made Steve Rogers into one of the most beloved characters in the MCU, playing the character in nine movies (seven as a lead). Captain America, and more specifically Steve Rogers, has become the heart of soul of the Avengers. Losing his character will leave a giant hole in the franchise. But would Chris Evans return to Marvel for future projects?
All signs are pointing that Evans is done with Marvel, at least for the time being; he's been hinting at his departure as early as 2014 and now his Marvel contract is finally up. Of course, deals can easily be renegotiated but Evans has stated that he would like to branch out to different roles outside of the superhero genre. He's even expressed interest in stepping aside from acting and instead focus more on directing.
If for some reason Evans does agree to return in the short-term, it would most likely be in a limited role like a brief cameo, credits stinger, or flashback, possibly even using already-filmed scenes. However, looking further into the future to the late 2020s, a nostalgic return akin to the original trilogy cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be a surefire way to hype-up Avengers 5, 6, or 7.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019