Chris Evans hints at how long he'll play Captain America

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Apr 27, 2016, 11:28 AM EDT

The man who has embodied Cap on the screen for the last half decade has some thoughts on how long he'll wield the shield.

It's amazing to think that, less than six years ago, there was real speculation about whether Captain America -- with his earnestness, unflinching patriotism and strong moral compass -- could translate to modern movie audiences. Flash forward to the present, and not only is Captain America the spiritual anchor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but an actor who wasn't even in the first round of names mentioned for the role -- Chris Evans -- has fully embodied the character and made it his own. His upcoming fifth starring turn as Steve Rogers, Captain America: Civil War, is poised to be one of the year's biggest blockbusters. 

But Chris Evans lives in the real world, where age and contracts and money can supersede even the most dynamic and personal relationship between a character and an actor. Asked in the past how long he thought he could keep going in the role -- his current contract ends with the two-part Avengers: Infinity War -- Evans has been ambivalent. But that seems to have changed: Speaking with Collider on the same topic, he said he's willing to don the red, white and blue as long as Marvel wants him to:

"We'll see. I know in the comic books that the shield gets passed off. And what you do know, more than anything else in this process -- meeting fans, experiencing these junkets and people who love the character -- the character is bigger than you and whatever the character needs, whatever Marvel needs for that arc, I'm willing to do. So if that is me passing it off, you pass it off. But if they want to make more, I'm ready."

Judging from those and other comments in the interview, Evans seems to honestly love playing Cap and making Marvel movies, but he's also aware that his time in the role could come to an end for any number of reasons. Still, it's nice to know that he seems willing to keep working with Marvel if the company wants him to stay -- which would not be a bad thing at all -- and that Marvel has the option of passing the shield to someone else purely because of the story they're telling, and not a contractual dispute (at least for now).

Would you like to see Chris Evans continue as Cap beyond Infinity War and the end of Marvel's Phase 3 film slate? Or should Marvel decommission the character for a while and let some new heroes step forward?