Chris Evans held the important responsibility of playing the MCU's Captain America for more than a decade before passing off the shield in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. This historic moment came in the movie's final scene as Evans' Steve Rogers gave the mantle to Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson, setting up a new era for Captain America in Phase 4 and beyond.
Mackie then had the opportunity to truly evolve into his own version of Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, although it proved to be anything but an easy journey for the long-standing MCU hero. Sam Wilson only really embraced the shield and status in the final two episodes, trying to follow in Steve Rogers' footsteps and be the hero that the world needed during a difficult time.
While Evans is currently retired from the MCU, he remains an important presence in and around the franchise, especially as the Captain America legacy continues to build over the coming years.
And now, more than three years after he last suited up as the Star-Spangled Man with a Plan, Evans has spoken for the first time on how it felt for him to see his friend, Mackie, step into the red, white, and blue spotlight.
Chris Evans on Anthony Mackie's Captain America
When asked if he'd shed any tears over Mackie's new role, Evans expressed genuine pride in his co-star's work as he said there was "no one better to do it." He remains excited to see what Captain America's future holds and reflected on how many good memories he has with the franchise:
“No one better to do it. I mean, he honestly does it justice… I’m so proud of him. I can’t wait to see what they do in the future with it, but if there’s any tear shed, it’s just for the sweet memories I had.”
As for what actually happened to Evans' character after he was last seen in Avengers: Endgame, even some of the top creatives at Marvel Studios don't know. Malcolm Spellman, who was head writer on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and is penning the fourth Captain America movie, previously revealed that "Marvel won't tell [him]" what Steve is currently up to.
Even though Chris Evans seems hesitant to return to the MCU anytime, there was a chance that Steve Rogers could have appeared in a previously released Disney+ series. Spellman also teased that there were talks of Cap making a cameo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, though quickly retracted those words soon after.
Evans' Pride for Mackie Shines Through
Even though Chris Evans appears content to leave his MCU days in the rear-view mirror for the foreseeable future, it's still special to see how impressed he is with Anthony Mackie taking over the Captain America title.
The two actors appeared in five MCU movies together between 2014 and 2019, growing as friends in real life, while Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson grew as teammates and friends amongst the Avengers. While there were plenty of debates over who should get the shield between Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes after Endgame, Evans sees the brilliance in Mackie's work as the Captain America mantle remains prominent.
Currently, Mackie is set to take his role as Captain America to new heights with Captain America 4, which is in the early stages of development under The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer Malcolm Spellman. It's still largely a mystery what this sequel will bring to the table, but Evans appears as excited as anybody to see what Mackie has to offer with his first headlining effort in an MCU movie.