With us now in February, we have a few months only to wait for the arrival of Avengers: Endgame in theaters. None of us know for sure what will happen in the conclusion to the story that began in Avengers: Infinity War, but we have some small clues to pick out and speculate upon and that’s exactly what we are going to do today.
This theory came simply from the staff here at LRM discussing the kind of emotional arcs that certain characters could face in the movie, whilst also considering the rumors that this will be the last Marvel film for the likes of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.
I guess for me as a writer if I was looking to present Evans’ Captain America with an emotional send-off, then we have two options. On one hand, the character could die or have to sacrifice himself in some way in order to win the day. On the other, that would be a literal nail in the coffin for the character forevermore in the MCU. But, we came up with another possibility that would both take Cap out of the immediate MCU and yet give the character some emotional closure at the end of this movie. Let’s explore the theory and then we shall look at any evidence for and against shall we?
The theory is twofold, which might be considered hedging our bets, but both situations would work well for me.
The first idea is that after the defeat of Thanos and the erasing of the decimation snap, Captain America will use whatever time travel technology the Avengers possess to journey back to the 1940s. There he will resume his life as if he actually made it back from the crash which trapped him in the ice for decades in Captain America: The First Avenger. If this were to happen, it would likely only work if he was reunited again with Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, the love he lost.
This ending for Cap would mean he would be an old man by the time of the current MCU and all the various alien and superhuman threats. Cap would be able to have a normal life with Carter and raise a family. This would also allow Marvel if they chose to do so to recast the character with Rogers and Carter’s son or daughter gaining super abilities from their father and becoming the new Captain America. It would also allow the return of Chris Evans to the franchise if he ever wants to and there is a story pitched where the Avengers need to bring him back again for a short while.
It would effectively close off the arc of Evans Steve Rogers whilst not killing him and having all the kids crying as they leave the movie. We think this would be a great place to leave Captain America at the end of the movie.
The second theory takes the same emotional arc but plays it in a different way. Rogers will visit the 1940s at some point during the Avengers quest through time, and his heart will be telling him he’s home and that he should stay and build that life with Peggy Carter. However, Cap is a hero and, of course, chooses to leave his home behind and travel back into the future with the other Avengers, perhaps with the idea to eventually return home, only to have to give his life for the good guys to win the day and denying him his chance of a happy ending with Peggy. This idea works on the same emotional arc as the previous, but it has more finality to it, it tugs even harder at the heartstrings, because Cap had to give up Carter again, willingly, in order to give his life for the future of the human race and all other sentient beings in the universe.
This second theory also presents the possibility of there being an emotional choice for other Avengers as well. How would Thor react to being with his mother and father again? Remember we have a strong rumor that Rene Russo will be in Endgame as Thor’s now dead mother Frigga. What about the rumors of Tony Stark meeting his grown-up daughter Morgan in the future? The possibilities are really endless when we add in this time travel business.
Personally, I guess I am a bit soft-hearted and prefer the first idea here because it gives Cap a happy ending, whilst still effectively removing him from the franchise. But I’d be equally pleased with the second scenario also. The question becomes, is there any evidence at all to support this theory?
The Pros and Cons
The answer is yes, there is some evidence that could support this theory, but there is also evidence which could immediately put a spanner in the works as well. Let’s start with the evidence for.
Much of the ideas we have about where Avengers: Endgame is going comes from various set photos that were released last year while the movie was shooting. It’s these set photos that have all but assured us fans that time travel will play a part in Endgame. Everyone remembers the photos that showed our modern day Avengers seemingly back in the battle of New York against Loki and the Chitauri, but does anyone remember this set photo?
Chris Evans has reportedly been spotted on this AVENGERS 4 set, which includes 1940's-era vehicles!
— MCU – The Direct (@MCU_Direct) November 22, 2017
That’s right, this photo essentially tells us that the Avengers will at some point go back to the 1940s, whether it’s for a task and then they move on (theory 2) or whether this is linked to Cap’s emotional send-off (theory 1) is unknown, but we can say for certain that at some point Cap and perhaps the other Avengers will travel back far enough to give these theories hope. However, there is also a small stumbling block here and that’s the involvement of Hayley Atwell with the movie. If Hayley Atwell is not in Endgame, then I immediately would discount theory 1 and maybe even theory 2 as well. Peggy Carter is the emotional punch in this theory, that’s why Cap would want to go back, she is the temptation to stay there above all other considerations. But, will Hayley Atwell actually appear in Avengers: Endgame?
This one’s tricky as the only quote we have from the actress was when she was asked if she was in Avengers 4 (before the title was revealed) and she said: “Not that I know of.” You can check out Variety‘s video interview with Atwell and Ewan McGregor for Goodbye Christopher Robin, where she answers this question Here.
But, can we really trust what Atwell says here? Surely if Atwell was to appear as Carter in Endgame she would have been told to keep it secret from audiences? The other consideration is that this interview was from last summer and there were still some shots to be finished at that point. I feel it’s still possible for them to have got her over for one day of filming and still managed to pull this off without too many people knowing. Fans have also looked to a quote from Atwell when asked about Thanos after Infinity War released and she asked, “Who is Thanos?” This was immediately tagged by fans as being a strong indicator she was not in Avengers: Endgame.
I’ll disagree with that, actors are not necessarily fans of the movies they shoot, Michael Douglas didn’t have a clue what was going on in the script for Ant-Man and the Wasp because he was completely unaware of the events that happened in Captain America: Civil War, so it’s very possible for an actor (not in a lead role) to film some scenes, get paid, and have no real idea what the overall story is going to look like. However, we cannot completely discount the fact that as far as we know right now, Hayley Atwell has not filmed anything for Endgame. If she has, then we likely wouldn’t know until after the movie hits at the end of April, barring a leak or a slip-up mention from someone else.
We think this would be a great idea for Avengers: Endgame and we still think there is a possibility that one of these scenarios could play out in the movie. However, all we can say for certain is that it seems like the Avengers will be back in Cap’s original timeline. Doing what, we can only speculate for now, but that’s part of the fun right?
What do you think of our Avengers: Endgame Captain America theories? Have I missed any evidence, or do you just think this is a terrible idea? Let us know what you think and share any ideas of your own in the usual place below.