We should all strap in for a lot of “will he, won’t he” when it comes to Chris Evans playing Captain America after the next two Avengers movies. Evans is contracted to two more Marvel films, and those films are Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4. Last week, he told Esquire that he was probably done playing the character after he had fulfilled his contact.
Settling in on the couch, he groans. Evans explains that he’s hurting all over because he just started his workout routine the day before to get in shape for the next two Captain America films. The movies will be shot back to back beginning in April. After that, no more red- white-and-blue costume for the thirty-five-year-old. He will have fulfilled his contract.
However, when Christina Radish spoke to Evans today at the press day for his new film Gifted, he sounded a bit different:
Are you really going to be done playing Captain America, after the next two Avengers movies?
“It’s really not up to me. My contract is up. I’m not going to sit here and say, “No more.” I think Hugh Jackman has made 47 Wolverine movies, and they somehow keep getting better. It’s a character I love, and it’s a factory that really knows what they’re doing. The system is sound, over there. They make great movies. If they weren’t kicking out quality, I’d have a different opinion. But, everything Marvel does seems to be cinema gold. And like I said, I love the character. The only reason it would end is ‘cause my contract is up. After Avengers 4, my contract is done. Talk to Marvel. If we engage further, I’d be open to it. I love the character. It’s almost like high school. You certainly always look to senior year, and then, all of a sudden, senior year happens and you’re like, “I don’t know if I’m ready to go.” It’s tough thinking about not playing the guy.”
Here’s the thing: Evans is playing it smart with regards to his future as the character. On the one hand, fans like him as Cap, he’s got a good rapport with Marvel, and he likes the movies he’s making. That being said, he’s worth more today than he was when he first signed on to his six-picture deal. But Marvel could easily recast the role, not just with a different actor, but they could follow the lead of the comics and have either Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) become the new Captain America.
Both sides have options, and so as an actor who’s going to have to negotiate for a new contract, Evans doesn’t want to go too far in either direction. He doesn’t want to say, “I will absolutely keep playing Captain American and will take payment in hugs if it means I get to stay on,” but he also doesn’t want to talk himself out of a job and say, “There’s no way in hell I’m playing Captain America again.” It could be genuine ambivalence, but it could also be smart negotiating.
Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that these Marvel movies take up about six months of his time. For a guy who has expressed an interest in wanting to do more directing and just as an actor who probably wants to play other kinds of characters, the thought of being tied down to one superhero can be daunting. It wouldn’t surprise me if Evans does make a deal similar to Robert Downey Jr. where he plays smaller parts in upcoming Marvel films rather than having to be at the top of the call sheet every day.
Whatever the case may be, we probably won’t know for sure until at least next year since Evans is spending most of his 2017 shooting the next two Avengers movies.