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In addition to killing off Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame also seemingly marked the end of Chris Evans’ time in the MCU as Captain America. However unlike Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark, Steve Rogers didn’t die, thus leaving the door open for a potential return. That’s not what Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus want, though. The Avengers: Endgame writers think bringing back Captain America would hurt its ending, as they explained:
Stephen McFeely: I do worry that if they do stuff like that, it'll ding Endgame in the rearview mirror. This is such an important and such an interesting moment in movies, because a very successful studio just put their tools down.
Avengers: Endgame is remarkable, not just because it’s a feat of filmmaking or because of how much money it made, but because it represents something very rare in Hollywood blockbusters: a proper ending. Endgame not only wrapped up the first 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Infinity Saga, but also the stories of some of the characters that made this franchise the biggest in history. Stephen McFeely is worried about losing that quality.
As he told Screen Rant, Disney and Marvel Studios did something very novel in that they allowed a film to be made that takes beloved characters off the board. Putting those tools down is very interesting and bringing back Captain America could retroactively diminish Avengers: Endgame. That’s why he doesn’t want Steve Rogers to be brought back in a future MCU movie.
Cap’s choice to go back in time and live out the majority of his years with Peggy Carter is a beautiful and poetic end to his story and Stephen McFeely wants it to stand as is. His writing partner Christopher Markus feels the same way. Addressing a hypothetical return for Cap, Christopher Markus said:
Christopher Markus: I also don’t want to. I love writing for Cap, I love Evans. But I really feel, much like Tony, we got them to a place where they don't need to do it anymore. I'd hate to gin up something hokey to get them back.
For Markus and McFeely, it’s not that they don’t love the character of Captain America or Chris Evans. They just don’t want to see Captain America brought back because they are happy with where they left him at the end of Avengers: Endgame, believing that was the right conclusion for his story.
To Christopher Markus, it would feel forced to bring back Captain America or Tony Stark for that matter. He has a great point, especially given the way Endgame left Cap. Bringing him back would mean either and Old Man Cap story or require some sort of contrivance to make Steve Rogers young again, and that’s just not necessary, according to the Endgame writers.
While opinions will differ, I tend to agree with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. We all love Cap and wouldn’t generally say no to seeing more of him, especially mixing it up with new characters like Wolverine and Reed Richards once they eventually enter the fray, but there is something to be said for an ending. It would be a disservice to the payoff and full circle closure provided by Avengers: Endgame for the character to be brought back.
The MCU can and should be able to move beyond the original Avengers, and give new characters a chance in the spotlight and the opportunity to carry this next phase and saga forward. It will be strange at first to be without the pillars of this cinematic universe, but we’ll get used to it.
The only way characters like Captain America should be brought back at this point is in a story that takes place before Avengers: Endgame. To that end, we’ll see Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha in the prequel solo film Black Widow. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is also rumored to appear in that film, but for now, it seems like we’ve seen the last of Captain America.