Last month, Marvel directors the Russo brothers seemed to confirm Evans won't be returning to the role: "I think for now he's emotionally moved on, yes."
Seems pretty comprehensive. But it's that 'for now' that worries us.
No matter where his career takes him next, Steve Rogers will be mentioned in Evans’ obituary. It’s something he seems completely at peace with. But sometimes this kind of iconic role can leave such a mark on actors, they can never truly leave them behind. No matter what they say at the time, they end up returning to the roles that defined them. Adulation can be addictive, unfortunately.
Sadly, as with all addictions, every increasing hit leads to diminishing returns. So, we’re going to lay out some comparable warnings from history, that’ll hopefully prevent Evans from digging his spare shield out from the attic.
Pay attention, Evans. For all of our sakes.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
“That belongs in a museum,” Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones says early on in the perfect Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which really should have been the final Indy movie.
“The Indiana Jones movies belong in a three-part DVD box set,” we agree.
Sometimes, stuff is best left in the past, with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull being possibly the best proof that filmmakers need someone to tell them to just stop. It’s so bad Spielberg and Ford are forcing themselves to make one more movie, in the hope of bringing the franchise to a satisfying end.
Chris, you might think you're doing 'one more for the fans,' but that one can quickly spiral into several – as our next example illustrates.
Terminator 3 and beyond…
Oh, Arnie. Arnold’s Terminator career feels a bit like it’s taken the same trajectory as a gambler’s last night in Vegas.
One more dice roll, and he’ll win back all the credibility he’s lost over the past few films. Terminator 3 was bad, Terminator Genisys was infinitely worse, and let’s see how Dark Fate turns out. (He only appeared as a CGI creation in Terminator: Salvation.)
But it all could have been avoided if he hadn’t returned to the role that launched his career in the first place. Chris Evans should take a long look at Terminator 2’s perfect ending and the gap between Judgement Day and Rise Of The Machines, and mark a reminder on his calendar not to sign on for any more Captain America movies in twelve years' time.
And he should probably make another entry stopping him from signing on fifteen years later, too. Why? Well...
Escape From LA
Fifteen years after leading cult classic Escape From New York, Kurt Russell decided it was time to Escape From LA.
If he wanted to escape from Hollywood, he couldn’t have picked a better project – it was the start of a wobbly period for the actor (fans of Soldier and 3000 Miles to Graceland, we do apologise).
Goodness knows why he decided to cap one of the greatest periods of his career with this nonsense, but his tongue-in-cheek take on gruff Snake Plissken was a bit of an embarrassment. Take note, Evans – not even irony will save you if you do decided to give Steve Rogers another go.
Nor, as it turns out, will the film's quality.
Blade Runner 2049
While critics seemed to enjoy Harrison Ford’s return to the other major sci-fi character that defined his career (Evans’ agent is more likely to reference Ford’s Force Awakens success than Rick Deckard when trying to make the case for Captain America and the Kingdom of the Red Skull), audiences couldn’t be bothered with it.
Of all the entries on this list, Blade Runner 2049 is the most artistically successful. But a worldwide box-office total of $259.2 million would make it the lowest-grossing MCU movie (even The Incredible Hulk earned $265.5 million).
So, even if you make a good film when you return to an old character, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be successful.
Chris Evans' Captain America promised us he'd be with us until the end of the line. Now that end has come, we really hope he doesn't try to extend the journey.
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