Though plenty of confusion remains around the final minutes of Avengers: Endgame, the film’s official screenplay – which was recently released online for awards consideration – at least clears up one point of uncertainty regarding Captain America’s journey into the past.
In the script’s final pages, a title card helpfully clarifies the time and place in which Steve Rogers reunites with his beloved Peggy Carter: “WASHINGTON D.C., 1949.” That means the First Avenger had a whole 74 years to enjoy his retirement before passing his shield on to Sam Wilson in 2023. For those curious, the rest of the scene reads as follows:
“INT. RED HOUSE, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, WASHINGTON DC – DAY
A TEA CUP LIES SHATTERED on the hardwood. We hear Harry James. Move into the living room…past the record player…
TO WHERE STEVE DANCES WITH A WOMAN. They rock back and forth barely moving. As they turn, we see…
PEGGY CARTER, tears streaming down her face. He steps on her toe. She laughs. As they turn, we get a good look at…
Steve Rogers, eyes shut, finally getting the life he deserves. THE END.”
Of course, the exact nature of Steve’s reunion with Peggy has been the subject of much disagreement among both the fans and the team behind the movie.
While co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have repeatedly said that Cap’s journey back in time means that there have always been two Steves in the MCU, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo have stood by their interpretation that Steve actually settled down with Peggy in an alternate reality, before eventually hopping back to the main timeline to meet with Sam.
Either way, the alternate timeline ideas introduced by Avengers: Endgame ensure that we can never entirely rule out Chris Evans’ character some day returning to the fray, though Markus and McFeely have already argued that bringing back Steve would cheapen the ending of their film.
Perhaps they’re right, but whether or not Marvel Studios resists the temptation to revisit one of their most popular and profitable characters, the MCU now has a new Captain America to fill his place. We’ll find out how Sam Wilson fares filling the shoes of his predecessor when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney Plus next year.