It remains among the most popular, meme-able lines of Avengers: Endgame’s entire three-hour runtime. After defeating his past self in battle, Captain America looks down at the unconscious body of 2012 Steve Rogers and finally says what so many MCU fans had long held to be true: “That is America’s ass.”
In a recent interview with SYFY WIRE, Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus reflected on the moment when the First Avenger stops to admire his own posterior. As it turns out, the line emerged only gradually, with one joke building on the other, starting with the observation that Steve’s costume from 2012’s The Avengers hasn’t aged too well:
“It sort of grew on its own. The first thing that was there was Tony looking at Cap’s terrible Avengers outfit and going, ‘that suit does nothing for your ass.’ That stood on its own for a while, and then Ant-Man was added to the scene, and he said, ‘I think that’s America’s ass.’ And that was the joke for a while.”
In fact, it was only during the film’s reshoots that Ant-Man’s “America’s ass” line got a callback from Steve himself:
“We redid the Cap on Cap fight, the ending of it, and that helped us tremendously. And then we needed to get out of that scene a little differently, and there [2012 Cap] was, slumped on the ground with his butt in the air.”
It was at this point that the writers apparently asked themselves, “Can we put another ass in the movie?” to which the answer was, of course, yes. According to Markus, even Chris Evans was okay with the line being included, since his 2012 outfit reportedly “wasn’t his favorite.” Markus also suggested that Evans was happy to get a joke that stayed faithful to his character, since the serious-minded Steve “doesn’t do a lot of non-sequitur smart remarks.”
In an interview earlier this year with the LA Times, Markus speculated on why Evans wasn’t too fond of his costume from The Avengers, remarking that one problem, besides the color, may have been that his ears were covered, leaving “these little Princess Leia dents over his ears.”
Regardless, Avengers: Endgame may have been the last time we’ll see Evans in any version of the Captain America outfit, but we’ll find out how his successor fills his shoes when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes to Disney Plus in the fall of 2020.