Consider this your official emotional trigger warning for those who are attached to Chris Evans’ Captain America. The actor took to Twitter earlier today to announce that he’s finally wrapped filming on Avengers 4 (the movie was technically shot back-to-back with Infinity War but large chunks still had to be filmed after IW was released), but the tone of the message read more like a eulogy for the character and his time at Marvel Studios than a simple heads up. Indeed, it sounds like Evans is preparing us for the inevitable: Avengers 4 will be Steve Rogers’ swan song.
Here’s what Evans’ Tweet had to say:
Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 4, 2018
All jokes aside, Evans’ grace and gratitude here is something to be admired. This is a role he did not have to take, and indeed turned down multiple times before eventually saying yes. Making these kinds of movies isn’t always the most fulfilling task for an actor—you’re doing takes that are a few seconds each of simple reactions or grunts just to piece together a gigantic action sequence. But Evans always understood that playing Captain America was something larger than himself, and consistently brought a weight and depth to a character that could have come off as bland and boring.
While this is certainly not official confirmation that Evans is done after Avengers 4, it sure does sound like it—especially when you combine it with the actor’s other comments over the years. In May of 2017, as part of a profile for Esquire, it was revealed that Evans’ Marvel contract expires after Avengers 4 and that he’d be hanging up the shield after that. However, a few weeks later, Evans said he’d be open to playing Captain America for longer but reiterated that it wasn’t up to him—his contract is complete after Avengers 4.
He’s not the only one. Contracts for Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth are also likely to be complete after Avengers 4, and indeed most have been assuming for the last couple of years that this would be the final go-around for the Avengers as we know it. There’s a reason Marvel took great strides to introduce and nail new characters over the past few years like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). They need fresh blood once the OG heroes retire.
So yeah, add Evans’ tweet to the litany of other evidence to suggest that not all the Marvel heroes are going to make it out of Avengers 4 alive—including some major, cornerstone MCU characters. Thanks for the memories, Evans.
The currently untitled Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019.