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Actors typically can't play the same role for an eternity. Hugh Jackman recently stepped away from Wolverine after a 17-year run. Harrison Ford keeps bringing back Indiana Jones, but that can't last forever. And everyone on the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have to hang up their superhero costumes, some day. Will Chris Evans' day come sooner rather than later?
As part of a longer interview with Esquire on behalf of his upcoming drama Gifted, it is strongly implied that Chris Evans will stop playing Captain America after his six-picture contract with Marvel Studios is fulfilled following the next two Avengers films. Keep in mind -- and this is very important -- there is no quote from Evans on the matter in this article. But the Esquire writer, Max Potter, makes it crystal clear that Evans will retire after completing work on the next two Avengers films, tentatively structured as battles against the Mad Titan, Thanos. The line that catches every Marvel fan's eye is where Esquire says that after filming the two Avengers films back to back, there will be "no more red- white-and-blue costume" for Evans, as he "will have fulfilled his contract."
Again, not a quote from Evans. But a definitive way to state something that concerns Chris Evans and his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, does this mean that contracts can not be renegotiated? Of course not. Chris Evans is 35 years old. His colleague, Robert Downey Jr., is 51, and shows no sign of slowing down in the MCU, appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming later this year. But the Esquire piece makes it clear that Chris Evans wishes to explore other acting avenues like the one afforded him in Gifted, and he wants to continue directing (something he dabbled on with 2014's Before We Go).
If this is the end for Chris Evans (and I'd lean toward it being a certainty), does this mean it's the end for Steve Rogers? There were heavy rumors that the character would die in Captain America: Civil War. Now the rumors suggest he'll give his life in the Infinity War. The mantle of Captain America can be assumed by others, with both Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) having played Cap in the Marvel Comics. So there are possibilities.
As for now, we know that Chris Evans has two Marvel movies left on his contract. Will they really be his last turns in the role? Time will tell, but if I had to bet, I'd say that Esquire is on the money, and Evans will be ready to walk away when the Avengers movies conclude, leaving the MCU to head in a new direction in Phase Four. It will be sad, but it's time.