Chris Evans had an amazing run as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As much as any actor in the franchise, he fully embodied the character and became the face of Cap, probably forever. But times change, franchises move and nothing lasts forever. In the world of comic book movies, this is especially true considering how studios are constantly looking for the fresh new thing and a face to lead a franchise, even if it means a big pivot. According to The Direct that looks to be the case with Marvel who is already taking the steps to wipe Chris Evans out of existence when it comes to Captain America. That didn’t take long.
Look, we already knew that Chris Evans wasn’t going to be Captain America anymore. He said as much sitting on the bench with Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson at the end of Avengers: Endgame. The shield was being passed from one hero to the other. Steve Rogers’ time in the suit had come to an end. But I just didn’t think Marvel would wipe out Chris Evans this quickly which is what they’ve started doing on the character’s social media pages. The main banner picture on Twitter is now Sam Wilson with the wings and the shield, fully embracing his role as the new Captain America. Evans is nowhere to be seen.
The Captain America Facebook page is the same deal. It’s all Sam Wilson over there as well. He is the new Cap after all so it makes sense that Marvel would begin moving into the future of the character which will be decidedly different than what it’s been for the better part of the last decade. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe refers to Captain America from now on, it appears implicitly understood that the reference is to Wilson and not Rogers. Though Sam didn’t necessarily accept the shield on that park bench and it took him a while to come around to it, this is the new path for the character.
This definitive change away from Chris Evans as Captain America came during the first season run of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. The six-episode short series explored a number of different themes in the post-Blip Marvel world. It was a wide-ranging show that wanted to tackle a bunch of things. But at its core was the question of who, if anyone, should take the shield and become the next Captain America. Wilson’s reluctance to take the mantle to start led to a series of events that saw someone else become Cap for a bit. But when it was all said and done, Mackie’s Wilson became Captain America and that’s who he’ll be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When Captain America 4 was announced last Friday, on the heels of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wrapping up, it was also announced that Chris Evans wouldn’t be returning. Again, this wasn’t a surprise but at least represented leave-no-doubt news about the character. We are entering a new phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one in which previous characters will have new faces going forward. It’s a time of massive transition and Chris Evans won’t be the only guy recast. And for now, he’s been wiped out of view in favor of the new Captain America.