Avengers: Endgame ended with a scene that made every Marvel fan’s jaw drop. After Cap disappeared into the Quantum Realm, his friends found an elderly Steve Rogers nearby, revealing that the hero had elected to stay in the past and live a long and happy life married to Peggy Carter. It was a hugely moving scene, with the aged-up effects used on Chris Evans not taking away from the emotion.
Yes, Old Man Steve was 100% Evans. You might have thought there was an older actor who stood in for the star and his face and voice was crafted on afterwards or something – like how Skinny Steve was achieved back in Captain America: The First Avenger – but the Russo brothers confirmed to EW that they wanted to keep as much of Evans in there as possible. Some CGI was necessary to give the look a polish, sure, but it was mostly done with practical means.
Anthony Russo explained:
“Obviously, if it doesn’t work perfectly, it can undermine the emotional intention of the scene. We did a lot of practical effects, so it was a very elaborate makeup job that was then augmented with CG, because there’s certain things that you can’t do with makeup in order to make Cap credibly that age.”
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As for Old Man Cap’s authentic-sounding elderly rasp, that was all Evans as well with his vocal patterns not augmented whatsoever, revealed Joe:
“We didn’t alter his voice at all… Everything you’re seeing is exactly his performance, just with his face aged. That’s it. We didn’t change anything about it.”
For years, ageing up and down actors in flashbacks and flash-forwards in movies has been a difficult task as, even with the best make-up jobs, there’s usually something unreal about it. Marvel has completely innovated the process, though, in movies like Captain Marvel, and now we just take for granted that Samuel L. Jackson can be de-aged to look like he did in Pulp Fiction. Or, in this case, Chris Evans can be made to look like he’s 90.
As this is apparently the last time we can expect to see Evans as Cap, at least his performance in Avengers: Endgame‘s final scene was able to be preserved as much as possible.