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Here’s why some retired Avengers will return to the MCU after ‘Endgame’

Published Jan 15th, 2021 10:08PM EST
Avengers Secret Wars
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • Marvel is reportedly in negotiations to bring back an Avenger team member who wasn’t expected to appear in the MCU again after the events of Endgame.
  • After a report said that Chris Evans might sign up for up to two Marvel movies that won’t be Captain America sequels, a leaker offered a plausible explanation.
  • Marvel might need old Steve Rogers for certain plot mechanics of the Secret Wars storyline. Robert Downey Jr. would also have a role in the new phase.

Marvel’s MCU Phase 4 has finally started, with the first two episodes of WandaVision already available to stream on Disney+. The highly-anticipated TV series kickstarts the next Marvel storyline that will follow the Infinity Saga that ended with Endgame and Far From Home in 2019. Marvel is building another massive story, with Phase 4 serving as a ramp for many characters, including brand new heroes and villains.

It’s not just characters that Marvel didn’t have time to explore before. It’s also the kind of beloved superheroes that Marvel couldn’t use because Fox had the rights to them. And this time around, Marvel will have a powerful weapon at its disposal to tell even richer stories. That’s Disney+, a medium that allows Kevin Feige and Co. to explore characters and events in greater detail than what’s possible in cinemas.

All of that should be great news to MCU fans, but there’s also a bittersweet pill to swallow here. The massive MCU Phase 4 universe that we’re about to explore will not feature several beloved Avengers. Black Widow and Iron Man died, and Captain America (the Steve Rogers version) has retired. There have been plenty of rumors saying that Marvel wants to bring back the fallen heroes in a way that doesn’t still anything from the emotional finale of Endgame, and the latest episode dropped on Thursday. A leaker thinks he knows why Marvel is planning to bring back Steve Rogers to the MCU.

The other day, a report said that Chris Evans is in negotiations with Marvel for one or two MCU appearances. Evans would not return in a Captain America film, but he would appear in roles similar to Robert Downey Jr. did in Homecoming.

The last time we saw Steve, he was an old man, ready to pass on the Captain America mantle to someone else. That someone else is Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and we’ll learn that story soon, as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will launch on Disney+ after WandaVision. It wouldn’t be fair for Steve to become Captain America again, and that’s probably not something Marvel will want to do. But there are plenty of Steve Rogers stories that are worth telling.

Evans has said a few times that he’s done with the role, although he kept the door open to the possibility of him reprising the role. He denied the Deadline report in the best possible way, saying that it’s all “news” to him on Twitter. He probably could do this all day.

Marvel insider Mikey Sutton, a constant MCU scoops source, explained in GeekosityMag why Marvel wants Evans back. And RDJ, for that matter.

“What happens when the MCU’s most powerful villains – including Doctor Doom and Galactus – take over various Battleworlds against the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men?” Sutton asked, answering immediately that “you need all hands on deck.”

Apparently, Steve Rogers will be needed at some point in the Secret Wars storyline, which is expected to be the main storyline of this phase. Marvel is also trying to bring back RDJ, who would play a parallel Earth Tony Stark. Evans would return as the older Steve Rogers.

Sutton says there are some plot mechanics in play that require RDJ and Evans’s presence, although he doesn’t know what they are. As always, nothing is confirmed at this time, and it’ll be years until we even get to an Endgame-like grand finale for this current phase of MCU adventures.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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