Avengers: Endgame may have closed out the Infinity Saga and thus opened the door for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's next chapter, but it also left fans with quite a few questions. Among those questions is the matter of Steve Rogers/Captain America's (Chris Evans) age at the end of the film during the poignant scene in which he passes the shield onto Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie). It's not a young man on that park bench, after all. Now, we have an answer thanks to Endgame's visual effects producer Jen Underdahl.
Underdahl recently spoke with Wired about different elements of Endgame as well as Avengers: Infinity War and one of the topics the interview covered was the creation of the look of old Captain America. Underdahl explained that in order to work out how to create the look there were certain questions they had to ask. One of those questions was what Steve Rogers would look like at the age of 106.
"What would a super soldier look like if he had aged 106 years?" Underdahl said. "What would his skin look like?" She went on to describe that the answer included shrinking and reducing Evans' neck, shoulders, profile and more to give him that "106 year-old super soldier look" we see in the film.
So, how did Underdahl come to the 106 number? For that, you have to look at an important piece of information we already know about Steve Rogers: his birthday. He was born July 4, 1918. Technically that would put Steve at 105 in 2023 (the year most of Endgame takes place) but we'll allow for a little fudging there. 106 seems like a close enough answer if you are strictly looking at the calendar.
However, while it's a "correct" answer, it also doesn't exactly add up because Steve's story isn't exactly a straight line on the calendar. If he was born in 1918 that would make him around 27 when he went into the ice in 1945. He was there for 66 years (if you assume it's 2011 at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.) It's there we start his aging clock which means that when we get to "present day" in Endgame, he's roughly 39 years old. That's the "age" he functionally is when he goes back in time and reunites with Peggy Carter (Haley Atwell). Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely has indicated that the year of that reunion is 1948. That would make Steve 39 in 1948 in terms of his aging.
This is where things start to get a little more complicated. If we operate under the idea that Peggy still dies around 2015 that would mean that the couple spent 67 years together. It's a number that would make Steve 106 in terms of aging. We could then assume that Steve used a Pym Particle to make his way to 2023 where we see him at the end of the film. However, with the time travel and Pym Particle usage of it all and the various timelines being kind of a weird, confusing gray area, we can also assume that maybe he didn't. Even with the time travel complications, though, 106 seems like an age that is close enough both in terms of story and in terms of reference point for the creation of his appearance. It's the age he would be if he had lived his life in a simple, chronological line with no time travel and being frozen business.
Sounds good enough to us.
Avengers: Endgame is available now on digital downloads and Blu-ray.