In surprising news last week, Chris Evans was rumored to be reprising his role as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain America in some capacity. Nothing is official – and even Evans himself tweeted out that it was “News to me” on Twitter. That, of course, means very little as it could be nothing more than a way to swerve fans into thinking that it isn’t true, delaying the inevitable announcement. However, if it is true, what’s left for America’s favorite captain?
The way things ended with Avengers: Endgame, it seemed to conclude some of the major story arcs in the MCU, including Steve Rogers’ run as Captain America. The last time we see Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers, he’s an elderly man on a bench handing over his famed vibranium Americana shield to Sam Wilson and, thus, the title of Captain America as well. He reflects over the life he remade for himself by staying in the past after returning the soul stone and not returning to the future. It was a near perfect ending to the arc of one of the best comic book characters to make the adaptation to the big screen.
So why ruin such a great ending by bringing the character back in some capacity?
With the on-going battle between streaming services to rake in subscriptions, most are bringing back their most popular properties. HBO Max just announced they are bringing back Sex and the City to HBO Max, along with an eventual Friends reunion. And this fall, the prequel film to The Sopranos called The Many Saints of Newark will debut. NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, will be rebooting, albeit in a newly dramatic way, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and all signs are pointing to them eventually doing some sort of reunion or reboot to The Office, given that it’s one of the most popular streamed shows for any service.
Disney+, who owns Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, is no stranger to these ways. Besides using their own works from Disney Animation and Pixar to add to their future content, they are currently cashing in on more Star Wars and Marvel programming, by adding 22 new series between the two properties.
In the one lone Star Wars series created for Disney+ so far, The Mandalorian has brought in several major characters from the film and animated series, namely Luke Skywalker, in the Season 2 finale. With WandaVision debuting on the service this past weekend, it now keeps subscribers looking for that next great surprise and reveal, this time on the Marvel side. Wanda and Vision were a major part of the Avengers saga and, by the looks of the series, there’s no telling where the story might go, so anything is possible, even an appearance from some other Marvel characters, including fellow Avengers. This is where Captain America’s return may lie in some capacity – however maybe not necessarily in WandaVision but in later programming.
The Captain America films are arguably some of the best in the MCU, so it’s easy to understand why Disney is looking to milk every last drop they can out of one of the best – not to mention most well-known – characters Marvel has to offer. With a new Cap appearance, that means more toys and t-shirts to sell and more money to make. But again, where can the story go for Steve Rogers from where we last left him?
In today’s age of filmmaking and television, particularly with comic book adaptations, there seems little following of the rules, if any real rules are defined at all. In the writing process with every story, a writer sets up a certain set of rules to follow, with the thought being that these rules will ultimately play to the ending of the story the writer is trying to tell – that typically being the triumph of the protagonists. But what’s really missing now in most storytelling is consequences. There has to be consequences to actions, the biggest of all consequences being that death or. at the very least, some sort of inability for the character to carry on.
Comic book films typically have no consequences for their characters actions because their worlds are so rule amending, creating and recreating scenarios for their characters to defeat even death. There’s always some sort of miraculous escape from death, whether it’s a serum, a clone, an alternate timeline or some other eye-rolling method to bring back fallen characters. Star Wars did it with The Rise of Skywalker, the Fast & Furious franchise has done it several times, The CW’s Arrow did it obnoxiously and, yes, the MCU did – the entire storyline of Endgame!
Again, we see the ending for Steve Rogers in Endgame, we see him as an elderly old man, satisfied with his life choices. We’re not sure if he dies or not, but his character has no ability to don the red, white and blue garb again. His mission is complete – and it should stay that way.