LOS ANGELES — Visualize a Marvel Cinematic Universe without Chris Evans as Captain America.
Evans, who perfectly embodies the upright superhero, reaches the end of his contract after he completes Avengers: Infinity War (in theaters May 4, 2018) and Avengers 4 (May 3, 2019).
It's a long way off and Evans acknowledges that Marvel executives are too busy with the complicated Avengers universe present to even discuss the possibility of re-upping his contract.
But for gosh sakes, when Evans does make the inevitable departure after Avengers 4 (or beyond), there are going to be some saddened fans.
"Bless those people. My mother will be leading that fan base," says Evans while promoting his critically well-received role in Gifted (in select cities Friday including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia; goes nationwide April 12). He plays the embattled guardian of a genius niece.
The ever-gracious Evans acknowledges he will have a tough time seeing another actor don the supersuit he's worn in three Captain America blockbusters and two (so far) Avengers films.
"I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be hard for me," says Evans. "But the passing of time and the passing of torches is part of the experience. Nothing lasts forever. There’s a beauty in that departure, even if it can be sad at times. It’s also joyful."
Given that his superhero received a super-soldier serum that slows the aging process dramatically, Evans will have to step down eventually. He's OK with that.
"I’ve had a great run. Superheroes are reinventable entities, like Batman or even James Bond. These movies find new incarnations and new ways to tell the story. I am all for it," says Evans. "However they want to proceed after Avengers 4, it’s really up to them. I walk away with no regrets and endlessly thankful."
"Downey is far closer to reaching that point where he may walk away. And I don’t know how you replace Downey as Tony Stark," says Evans. "I don’t know who else can touch that."
One thing Evans won't miss: the intense workouts required to get to Captain America buff. He's just started working out for Avengers and is feeling it.
"When you’re creeping on 36, working out is a little bit harder. Not impossible, but it just gets a little bit more daunting," says Evans, who laughs about how he'll look post-Captain America. "I’m just going to get fat. Potato chips, ice cream before bed. It’s like, 'Guess what, everyone!' "
After promoting Captain America: Civil War, Evans took the better part of a year off to spend time with family in Massachusetts. Besides Gifted, he's ready to take on the just-announced Jekyll, playing the descendant of the famed Dr. Jekyll. But he isn't trying to show off new acting muscles.
"It’s not like, 'OK, this role is going to let me flex,' " says Evans. "You just want to tell a story. The reason I like acting is that it's enjoyable to get inside the head or experience someone that’s dissimilar to my approach to my life."
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