Avengers: Endgame is Robert Downey Jr.s (and Marvels) best shot at winning an acting Oscar. This isnt to say that any other name on the MCUs impressive roster of talent isnt deserving, but his odds arent just taking into account his performance; they play into his entire overarching narrative, both on and off the screen.
When Robert Downey Jr. joined the MCU, it was a make-or-break moment – not just for Marvels on-screen future, but for Downey Jr.s career. He was the title character in Iron Man, portraying a key member of the Avengers who is hardly a textbook hero. Hes an inventor, but a narcissist; a philanthropist, but a war profiteer. He was the unlikeliest of heroes who, underneath all of his armor and cynicism, was a man desperately, though unknowingly at times, trying to give his life purpose. As this self-made hero born purely out of circumstance, Tony saw the worst in himself, the best in others, and the possibility of righting his wrongs for the greater good, notwithstanding his ego. So, when he finally removes all ties to said ego at the end of Avengers: Endgame, sacrificing himself to save the universe, he closed the book on his story, but cemented his legacy.
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A lot of fans were happy to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe decide to employ time travel for the first time in Avengers: Endgame. With that, though, came a blessing and a curse. Some might suggest the Russo Brothers dug a little too deep into the complications of logical time travel laws and ended up confusing audiences.
When you let everything settle, however, it more or less makes sense. One thing Endgame did was create an alternate timeline as a way to explain Steve Rogers time-traveling to his past and living out a normal life.
What this essentially did is create an escape from sticking to canon if a new Captain America movie is ever made.
All Marvel fans want to know if there’s any chance Captain America will come back in some form, either through his new alternate timeline, or through another form.
The possibilities have just opened up to virtually any scenario, including a possible streaming animated episode showcasing Rogers and Peggy Carter in the upcoming series Marvel’s What If?.
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Regardless, Chris Evans is definitely done playing Captain America, possibly forever or for the time being. Once he has a chance to shake away any stereotyping potential, maybe he’ll want to consider returning to the role based squarely on overwhelming popularity.
According to polls, Captain America is third only to Thor and Iron Man. You could technically say they’re tied for first place, even if all three are going away from the MCU for a while.
Endgame finally caught up with the Marvel comic book world thanks to this temporary grand finale. Marvel comics have been doing alternate universe stories for years, making it more creative in the possibilities of superhero gender swaps and different outcomes to what we were used to.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin.
No doubt the meeting table at Marvel involved some serious wranglings to make this happen for future MCU phases so it could broaden the horizons of these characters rather than box them in to canon.
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What we all wonder now is what kind of alternate reality did Steve Rogers create escaping back to his past at the end of Endgame? Did he really alter his own timeline and for everyone else? Or did they just create a dual reality where his former self exists under ice at the same time as his alternate self?
These are the headache-inducing complications any future Cap movie will have to explain with some clarity.
My office whiteboard is only used for explaining MCU time travel #Endgame Note: OGSR = original Steve Rogers pic.twitter.com/hSXklqysiC
Some fans are positing the idea there’s two Steve Rogers in the timeline he creates in the past. Of course, this treads on the idea utilized in Back to the Future Part 2 where Marty and Doc have to be careful not to interact with their past selves from the first movie.
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Not that this wouldn’t be a lot of fun in a Captain America movie, if not enhanced in a lot of ways with a superhero twist. Some theories say Marvel’s own philosophy on time travel opened the door to various alternate timelines for each character, despite changing the original timeline with their efforts.
Plus, what happens when you fast-forward Steve Rogers to being an old man during the time of the previous MCU movies? Was the time-traveling Rogers able to avoid the Rogers we saw in the movies to avoid a space-time continuum screw-up Doc Brown warned about in BttF?
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Whether Marvel ever goes this direction or not, they’re going to give it some time for audiences to cogitate over. In another five years, perhaps another alternate timeline was opened to allow for a different kind of Captain America, as in a gender reversal on par with Captain Marvel.