Being one of the biggest superheroes in the world can be tough. This is especially true if you're not a superhero. No, instead, you're an actor contracted into doing six films for a mega-studio, specifically the kind of films that require you to be at your Greek God buff-est for every take. So it kind of makes sense when Captain America 's Chris Evans said he wanted to take a break from acting following the fulfillment of his Marvel contract. Now he's upping the ante: Evans says he's leaving acting post- Captain . But don't panic, you'll likely still see his face onscreen.
“I’ve known for a while I wanted to direct,” Evans told Variety. “But (time) never really opens up. There’s another movie to do, there’s another acting job. It just got to a point where I was like, you know what — I have to do this.”
He then summed up where he sees himself in the foreseeable future:
If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.
Now, Evans is still contractually obliged to complete a few more films as Captain America: Of the six films in his contract, he's done three full films: Captain America, The Avengers, and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's also possible that his cameo in the shapeshifting Loki scene in Thor: The Dark World could count as one. Very soon, he will be headed to London to start filming the Avengers sequel, Avengers Age Of Ultron, which, if Thor counts, will be his fifth film. It seems likely that his sixth and final will be Captain America 3, which plays into this theory raised by io9's Rob Bricken, who posits that (spoiler alert for a possibly correct theory) Evans' Steve Rogers will die at the end of Captain America 3 and Sebastian Stan's Bucky will fill in as a new Captain America thereon after if Marvel feels so obliged to keep the title around — which seems likely, given that many superhero identities pass from person to person.
Evans is hardly the first person to claim to be leaving acting after a run in a well-known role: After the most recent boom in his acting career, Ryan Gosling announced a hiatus from the acting side of things. In that time, like Evans, he turned to directing instead.
What's important to note here is that, though Evans' announcement probably means a lot less giant posters of him in your local AMC, it doesn't mean he's throwing the act of acting in the trash, lighting it on fire, and walking away forever. It just means that, according to his plan, he won't be taking any additional acting gigs — unless he's directing them himself. He's already got 1:30 Train , a romantic film co-starring Star Trek's Alice Eve and himself, which he directed, and that should serve as enough proof that, even if he doesn't sign on for anything directed by anyone else, he'll still be around and getting some on-screen time. Will Chris Evans ever take another role directed by somebody's who's not himself? It seems likely, as huge actors who take hiatuses or otherwise separate themselves from the boom of their acting career often make at least a momentary return sometime later. This isn't a retirement. But I'd say he's earned the space.