For the past few months, we've gotten the sense that Chris Evans' days as Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America are numbered. While the actor is still contractually obligated to be in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America 3 and the inevitable Avengers 3, the actor has been talking seriously about his possible retirement, and it has been heavily rumored that co-star Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes is being set up to take Captain America title after Steve Rogers is gone (as seen in the comics). This is all certainly worrisome for those who have enjoyed Chris Evans' turns in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - but the good news is that the star isn't ready to let go of his star-spangled costume just yet.
Evans has recently been up at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting his directorial debut Before We Go, but while speaking to MTV he assured his fans that it will still be a while before he will be willing to give up his most notable superhero character. Asked if there was a chance he would soon be handing the shield of Captain America over to another actor, Evans replied,
"Who’s handing off the shield? Don’t take my job from me prematurely, dude. I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, all good things have to come to an end. But I’m really happy playing the character."
Given that The Avengers 3 isn't expected to be released until sometime in 2018, we still have a good number of years with Chris Evans as Captain America, but it does seem like Marvel Studios has a plan for when the actor's contract comes to an end. As alluded to earlier, Sebastian Stan actually has a nine picture deal with the comic book company, which is a full three features longer than the original deal that Evans first signed. Given that Bucky has only appeared in two titles so far, that means he still has seven more to go - and it wouldn't surprise fans if some of those remaining titles featured the character holding a red, white and blue shield in memory of his fallen friend.
That being said, Chris Evans has been such a key part in building both the Captain America franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole that I would believe that the studio would be willing to work out a deal with the actor if he were game to continue being the Star-Spangled Man. Basically, if he wants the gig, they'll probably try and find a way to give it to him.
Chris Evans has talked about giving up acting so that he can completely focus on being a director, and that all starts with the aforementioned Before We Go, which is premiering this week at TIFF, but doesn't yet have a release date. He has also completed work on the romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing from up-and-coming filmmaker Justin Reardon, and has finished filming Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be out on May 1, 2015.