Avengers: Endgame had plenty of closure to offer fans who have stuck with Marvel through 20-plus films, but it also left many lingering questions — especially when it came to Captain America. Now that the film is out and crushing the box office like it was a big purple mad Titan, its directors — Joe and Anthony Russo — are ready to give out some explanations.
** WARNING: Spoilers from Avengers: Endgame follow **
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Russo Brothers dove deep into the implications of Captain America’s grand finale. Let’s just get this out of the way: If you went past the spoiler warning, you know there’s time travel. And if you know there’s time travel, you know that time travel is tricky — especially when you don’t do what you’re told.
That’s what happened when Cap left to close out the timelines created when the Avengers yoinked all the Infinity Stones during their time heist. But, instead of living in his timeline’s past, he stays in a different timeline altogether — a different dimension.
“If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality,” Joe explained. “The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away?” With a smile and a wink, that opens up a whole can of time-worms. Whose shield does he pass on to Falcon, making him into the new Captain America?
“Interesting question, right?” Joe said. “Maybe there’s a story there. There’s a lot of layers built into this movie and we spent three years thinking through it, so it’s fun to talk about it and hopefully fill in holes for people so they understand what we’re thinking.” The directors confirmed that Falcon was totally in the dark, but not Bucky. Bucky knew what his old pal was up to. “Especially when he says goodbye,” Joe explained. “He says, ‘I’ll miss you.’ Clearly he knows something.”
These new facts imply that Cap’s well-wishes, like telling Falcon that the shield isn’t someone else’s, aren’t just empty words. They could just be the truth, if other dimensions are on the table. But as for where Cap went and what’s next for Bucky and Falcon, fans have Disney+ to look forward to, as the latter pair are getting their own series while the What If? one-offs may provide some answers.
Oh, and Cap himself? That’s still Chris Evans under all that makeup and CGI. “We did a lot of practical effects,” said Anthony, “so it was a very elaborate makeup job that was then augmented with CG, because there’s certain things that you can’t do with makeup in order to make Cap credibly that age.”
Without changing his voice or performance, they simply had to adjust things that would stand out on an old Cap. “You can’t shrink Chris Evans’ neck on set, you know what I mean? He’s still got that yoke neck,” Anthony said. So with some practical and not-so-practical questions answered, more complex ones have arisen. How do you think Cap got back?