Chris Evans may very well hang up his Captain America costume for good after wrapping production on the still untitled fourth "Avengers" movie.
The actor, who has portrayed the character since 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger," told The New York Times in a profile published Thursday that he's ready to move on. "You want to get off the train before they push you off," the actor told NYT as part of a piece about his next creative step onto the Broadway stage.
Evans was still filming "The Avengers: Infinity War" when he signed on to "Lobby Hero," playing very much against type. In the play, Evans plays an unlikable, narcissistic police officer who abuses and belittles his female partner, evoking strong sentiments in this #MeToo era, despite the play being nearly 20 years old. "It's awful to admit, but I know plenty of guys who fit this mold," Evans said of the boorish brute he will portray in eight shows a week through May 13.
While he expects to return for fall reshoots on the fourth "Avengers" film, Evans has no concrete plans about what his future holds beyond that, but he's fairly confident it will involve less time in the motion picture industry.
"When I think about the times that I'm happiest, it's not on a movie set," he said. "I've stopped thinking about my trajectory, or my oeuvre, or whatever pretentious word you want to use. I'm just following whatever I feel creatively hungry for."
That has recently involved a renewed interest in tap dancing, something Evans pursued when he was younger, as well as aspirations to direct again (his directorial debut "Before We Go" came out in 2014) and possibly pursue other arts like sculpting and carpentry.
"I'm not afraid to take my foot off the gas," Evans said, indicating he'd be content if his film career ended tomorrow. But he also didn't rule out the possibility of returning to the good Captain and the franchise that made him a huge star. Robert Downey Jr. also contemplated stepping away from Marvel back in 2013 before signing a lucrative new contract for "Iron Man 3" and beyond.
The future of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is up in the air, with the studio promising major changes and an ending of sorts after these next two "Avengers" films. Could one of those changes be the departure of the heart and soul of the franchise, Chris Evans' Captain America? Only time will tell for sure.
The good news is Evans' interview seemed to pour cold water on fans' concerns that Cap will die in "Infinity War." The bad news is, perhaps he'll bite the bullet in that movie's sequel. Then again, considering he hasn't entirely ruled out more Marvel movies, maybe fans will get to watch the first Avenger walk off into the sunset.
"The Avengers: Infinity War" hits theaters Apr. 27 nationwide, followed by the fourth "Avengers" film on May 3, 2019.