For the entirety of the 2010s, few faces in the world were more recognizable than Chris Evans, who became a full-blown superstar the instant he first suited up as the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Captain America. That moment came in 2011, when Captain America: The First Avenger made its blockbuster debut.
Evans would reprise the role 10 more times (including cameos) in the ensuing decade before Cap’s MCU narrative came to a wonderfully weepy end in Avengers: Endgame. While it’s all but impossible to imagine anyone but Chris Evans playing the virtuous Captain America these days, the actor himself apparently had eyes for a very different Marvel role all along.
Evans let slip which role he secretly coveted during a recent interview with ACE Universe, and it seems the actor is of the opinion he might’ve had a lot more fun playing Iron Man-slash-Tony Stark in the MCU. “You know, I’ll say… I mean, I’ll say Downey, Iron Man … The paychecks would be nice, but just the role is so fun. The role is, you know, he’s the engine, he’s the life.“
It’s hard to argue Evan’s point of view towards the Stark-Iron Man persona being the “life” of the Marvel party in the early days of the MCU as the first Iron Man flick essentially birthed the franchise back in 2008. Likewise, the shamelessly show-boaty character would’ve been an absolute blast for any actor to play.
But it was the one and only Robert Downy Jr. who played the part through 11 MCU appearances, bringing his own larger-than-life personality to the role and delivering an utterly unforgettable performance in the process. And as hard as it might be to imagine another actor as Captain America, it’s even harder to imagine the MCU without RDJ’s Tony Stark.
Seems even Chris Evans believes nobody could ever top Robert Downey Jr.’s work as Iron Man
And yes, even Chris Evans agrees with that statement. For as much as he would’ve relished the chance to bring his own blend of smarmy, cock-sure charm to the role of Tony Stark, Evans went on to say he also doesn’t think any actor could possibly play the part any better than the man who did.
“But I suppose that’s kind of signing up for failure. I don’t think there’s anything anyone on this planet could do that would somehow improve upon what Downey’s done, you know what I mean?“
Perhaps even more telling of Evans’ obvious admiration for RDJ’s work as Tony Stark is his opinion that — as opposed to other MCU stalwarts like Hawkeye and his own Captain America, who’s mantles are being passed along to fresh faces — he believes the Iron Man title likely died with the hero’s noble Endgame sacrifice.
“I don’t consider that a role that’s gonna be like a James Bond or a Superman or Batman, that somehow other people get a bite at the apple. He’s Iron Man, the end.”
And should Tony’s Endgame snap prove to be the last time we see Iron Man on the big screen, that now-iconic moment undoubtedly sealed the character’s legacy forever. As for Cap, well, he tried to pass the shield and mantle on to his pal Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in the waning moments of the very same movie.
But as anyone currently watching Marvel’s Disney+ streamer The Falcon and the Winter Soldier can tell you, the Falcon chose not to carry either — at least for now.
Still, even if new Caps continue to make their way into the MCU, nobody will ever own the role quite as completely as Chris Evans, who will forever be the MCU’s true Captain America. The end.