It seems to be all but official that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing one of its first and brightest stars. After he finished filming for the secretive and untitled 'Avengers 4,' Chris Evans, who has been playing Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers in the franchise since 2011, stated in a cryptic tweet that he will be stepping away from the role.
Given the nature of his character and the bizarre multi-media franchise he's now involved it, it is likely that Steve Rogers will then die in the upcoming film, leaving the role of Captain America up for grabs. Fans are already scrambling to figure out which of the many comic characters to take up the mantle is set for the MCU treatment and, more importantly, who would be playing them. Here are our top five picks.
5. Ryan Phillippe
One of the people to take the moniker of Captain America was John Walker, a wannabe American war hero who operated under the name U.S. Agent. After Steve Rogers went rogue during the events of "Civil War," Walker was approached with an offer to be the new Captain America. While he served very briefly in the role, he proved to be a much more violent and brutal version of the character.
A veteran of military shooter films and television shows, Ryan Phillippe might be a good choice to play a more militaristic, bloodthirsty Cap.
4. Denzel Washington
In the comics, before the final version of the super soldier serum was used to transform Steve Rogers into Captain America, prototype versions were used on African Americans with varying degrees of willingness in a blatant analogue to the tragic Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Of those tested on, only Isaiah Bradley survived and went on to become a lesser-known "black Captain America."
While not frozen in ice, Bradley's serum slowed his aging to the point where he is still alive and empowered in the current comic continuity. It wouldn't be too much of a leap in logic for the MCU to retroactively declare that there was a second, African American Cap ready to take over if Rogers ever died. If they do, Denzel Washington would be an ideal choice to play him as Marvel has discussed roles with him before.
3. Keke Palmer
In the future of the Marvel universe of the comics, the role of Captain America is taken up by Danielle Cage, the daughter of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Both Luke and Jessica already exist in the MCU, played by Mike Colter and Krysten Ritter, but they have yet to have their baby.
However, if 'Avengers 4' uses a time-travel McGuffin as many suspect it will, there's a chance we could see what their adult child would look like in the star-spangled suit. If we do, Keke Palmer looks like almost a perfect fusion of the two Netflix actors and could certainly pull off the red, white, and blue.
2. Anthony Mackie
The Falcon and Captain America shared a series and a billing for years as equal partners, making it one of the most racially progressive moves and relationships in comics at the time. Later in comic lore, Falcon inherited Cap's shield when the latter's super soldier serum wore off and he aged exponentially. As Sam Wilson, Mackie would be well within his rights to hold the star shield.
1. Sebastian Stan
This one seems the most likely as not only would it be keeping more accurately to the comics, but Bucky Barnes making the transition to become Captain America would be the logical summation of his character growth. The MCU has basically been setting up his ascension to the role since the scene in 'Captain America: The First Avenger' when he first picked up the iconic shield.