In the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame, it was widely assumed that the film would serve as Steve Rogers’ swan song, and sure enough, the latest Marvel movie wrapped up Captain America’s arc in a manner that left audiences all misty-eyed. And now that co-writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus are at liberty to talk about Cap’s sendoff, be warned that spoilers lie ahead.
If you’d asked any given Marvel fan prior to the release of Endgame which Phase 1 hero they deemed most likely to die in the movie, there’s a very good chance they would’ve gone with Steve. Nonetheless, the Avengers: Infinity War sequel sees the First Avenger end his journey on a much cheerier note, as he travels back in time to settle down with Peggy Carter.
It’s pretty much the exact ending that many filmgoers were hoping for, and in an interview with The New York Times, McFeely admitted that the conclusion is, at least on one level, an act of fan service. All the same, the scribe claimed that Steve’s reunion with Peggy was the plan right from the start:
“From the very first outline, we knew he was going to get his dance. On a separate subject, I started to lose my barometer on what was just fan service and what was good for the character. Because I think it’s good for the characters. But we also just gave you what you wanted. Is that good? I don’t know.
“But I’ll tell you, it’s satisfying. He’s postponed a life in order to fulfill his duty. That’s why I didn’t think we were ever going to kill him. Because that’s not the arc. The arc is, I finally get to put my shield down because I’ve earned that.”
Markus went on to stress that Cap’s retirement is justified by his many struggles over the years:
“A hero without sacrifice, you’re not going to get the miles out of that person that you need to for these movies. That’s what makes them a hero, it’s not the powers.”
While Chris Evans’ run in the franchise has seemingly drawn to a close, you can still expect to see a Captain America pop up in future Marvel projects. Indeed, in the final minutes of Avengers: Endgame, the mantel passes to Steve’s friend Sam Wilson. And while Markus and McFeely are pleading ignorance on what happens next for the character, it’s more than likely that Anthony Mackie will be carrying the shield in the upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier TV show.