Ahead of the release of Avengers: Endgame fans could already see the finality coming. Marvel Studios did their part by hyping up the film as the culmination of the past ten years and 21films which would officially conclude "The Infinity Saga." Predictions, speculation, and fan theories were all around at the time, particular about who would make it out of the film alive. One of the most common characters many thought would die in the film was none other than the Star Spangled Man himself, Captain America. Chris Evans officially completed his extensive Marvel contract with the film, so it seemed a foregone conclusion to many; however, that was never in the cards for the character's final appearance.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely offered fresh insight into the making of the two movies, and life at Marvel Studios in general, revealing that at no point was Captain Americagoing to die at the end of the fourth Avengers movie.
"We realized over the course of the movies that Cap and Tony were on crossing arcs," McFeely said. "Cap, who had started as completely selfless and was jumping on grenades willy-nilly, was becoming more self-interested. Not to say selfish, but if you watch Civil War, particularly, he's making decisions based on what he wants, even if it breaks up the Avengers. And Tony started as the brash billionaire playboy, and the stakes are growing for him, the responsibility's growing for him. We realized at one point, late in 2015, that for Steve to be his best self, he was going to have to get a life, and for Tony to be his best self, he might have to lose his.
McFeely added, echoing that heroic moment from Captain America: The First Avenger (the pair's first Marvel Studios movie), "Sometimes the grenade goes off."
"And that's why [Captain America] can't die in this movie," Markus added "Because he was willing to die in the first one. That's not a journey."
The pair went on to compare Captain America's situation with why Tony Stark had to die at the end of the film as well, saying that his death "legitimizes the whole thing."
"If you just keep going until it peters out or you lose interest, it kind of decays backwards, making [people] think less of everything that came before," Markus said. "To have the opportunity to very deliberately tie all those threads together and have it add up to something and have it end, that's what stories are about. That's how you judge whether something was great or not. If at the end of The Great Gatsby, they got into a car and drove off and then we wondered what was going to happen next? We wouldn't have remembered that....It needs an end or it loses meaning. The end is what cements the thing, to actually sew it together and bring it to a crescendo, and yeah, take people off the board, finish their arcs. If Tony made it out the other side, and Iron Man 4 was waiting there, you'd be like, [shakes head] One too many..."
Though it certainly seems Tony Stark is off the board completely (for the time being, time travel is already established and returns from the dead happen all the time in comics!), Steve Rogers is still out there somewhere in theory. It seems unlikely that Chris Evans will return to the world, but the original Cap is out there if the Avengers decide that one day they need him.