Chris Evans to Retire as Captain America After 'Avengers 4'

"You want to get off the train before they push you off," says the actor of his time as Marvel's leading man.

No matter how things go for the good guys in the next two Avengers movies, it's beginning to look like the Marvel Cinematic Universe won't have Steve Rogers to kick around for much longer. Chris Evans has seemingly confirmed that he will hang up Captain America's shield after the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers feature, due out in 2019.

A profile of the actor in the The New York Times asserts that Evans will leave the Marvel franchise after planned reshoots for the fourth Avengers movie later this year, quoting him as saying, "You want to get off the train before they push you off." (Evans has played Captain America since 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger.)

It isn't the first time the idea of Evans retiring as Captain America has been raised. Initial interviews from the set of next month's Avengers: Infinity War featured much discussion about the possibility of many of the original Avengers cast retiring, talking about the movie's promotion being one of the final times they'll spend together. However, this does appear to be the first confirmation from Evans that he's planning his departure from the franchise.

In comic book lore, Steve Rogers is but one of a number of Captains America, and two of his comic book replacements are already present in the MCU: Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and Sam Wilson, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Fans have long suspected that Rogers could die as part of Infinity War or its follow-up, leading to another character picking up the mantle — has Evans just added fuel to the fire?

Evans has made Captain America one of the studio's most beloved characters. He initially had a six-picture deal but extended it to include the fourth Avengers movie. In addition to three Captain America films and four Avengers films, he's shot small cameos in 2013's Thor: The Dark World and last year's Spider-Man: Homecoming (not to mention a post-credits tease in 2015's Ant-Man that wound up in Captain America: Civil War). In other words, he's popped up in a Marvel movie every year since 2011.

Avengers: Infinity War is set for April 27.