Although fans have known this day was coming, and sooner rather than later, Chris Evans has effectively made it official: He'll leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe later this year when we wraps filming on the still-untitled Avengers 4.
The actor, who has played Captain America since 2011, confirmed that in a larger profile appearing this morning in The New York Times, in which he said he'll suit up one last time this fall for planned reshoots for the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War. With that, his contract with Marvel Studios is up, and he has no plans to return.
“You want to get off the train before they push you off," Evans told the newspaper.
The good news for fans is, hey, Captain America survives Infinity War, presumably (although, of course, we can't rule out the possibility of Evans' role in Avengers 4 being limited to flashbacks or alternate realities). The bad news is, after 2019, Steve Rogers won't be around anymore.
Formerly the Human Torch in Fox's Fantastic Four franchise, Evans made his debut as Marvel's Sentinel of Liberty in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, and has to date reprised the role eight times, including cameos in Thor: The Dark World, Ant-Man and Spider-Man: Homecoming that weren't part of his original six-picture deal. Although Evans' appearance in April's Avengers: Infinity War would have completed his agreement with Marvel Studios, he extended his contract to encompass Avengers 4.
“I had six films in my Marvel contract, so I could have said after the third Avengers I was done, but they wanted to make the third and fourth Avengers films as a two-parter," he explained last year. "They said they had so many other characters to fit in – Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ant Man – and couldn’t get them all into one movie.”
Evans will next be seen as Captain America in Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War alongside Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin, among others. The film hits theaters on April 27.