Avengers: Endgame was a massive culmination of all MCU events, and it did extremely well to end the story arcs of at least 3 of the OG 6 characters. Thor and Hulk have the opportunity to continue for a longer period of time and Hawkeye still has one project left before he retires, but we can be sure that Iron Man and Captain America are done. Both of their endings were very surprising even though the MCU was always setting it up since Age of Ultron.
Tony lived a complete life and was finally able to keep the interest of others above his personal self-interest. After spending a lifetime fighting for others, Captain America finally retired and did what he never could, i.e. get back to the love of his life. Here’s what the writers of the movie had to say about Captain America’s ending:
“Christopher Markus – [Steve’s] over 100 years old. He has fought World War II and Civil War and Infinity War. He’s been through three wars. And he has come to a place, I think, where he’s realizing … he needs to take a little time and be a little healthier. I think when he … in a way I think when he encounters his old self back in Avengers Tower, there is a processing going on in his head that well, that’s a really intense and maybe not 100% healthy guy. So I think it is time.
Stephen McFeely – We figured out pretty early that … Tony and Steve were sort of on crisscrossing arcs. That Tony movie by movie was becoming … was having a more a macro view, becoming more selfless. And Steve was becoming a bit more self-interested. Civil War is a good example of that. So, we had put up on the wall at one point, Tony becomes a complete person when he loses his life and Steve becomes a complete person when he gets one. We drove toward that.”
As it turns out, the ending of Captain America could have been very different than what it turned out to be. One thing that the writers and Russos did for 2 films, but dropped for the next two was exploring the character arc of Sharon Carter. She was brought into The Winter Soldier being set up as a future love interest of Steve, and then continued that arc in Civil War. But by the time we arrived in Infinity War and Endgame, Agent 13 was nowhere to be found.
These two films obviously had so many characters to juggle, so shoehorning a Sharon-Steve story within it would not have been a better way to pad your runtime! Instead, the writers chose going back to the original Agent Carter, and that’s what we loved. But this wasn’t always going to be the case as revealed by McFeely himself. He said,
“We had first drafts where Steve was living with Sharon Carter and it wasn’t going very well. And those are the moments when Kevin comes in and goes ‘what the hell are you doing?’”
It’s good that we didn’t get to see Steve end up with Sharon Carter because that wouldn’t have been as emotionally gripping as his story with Peggy Carter was! Sharon Carter still has a future in the MCU, and we’d be very happy to see where her character goes from Civil War.
Directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Brolin, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Tessa Thompson, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Tilda Swinton, Ava Russo and Brie Larson.