After making what amounts to a glorified cameo appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, the directors of Avengers 4 have made it clear that Captain America will have a larger role. In fact, his role will be so significant that when the movie concludes, the MCU could be changed forever.
While we’ve detailed how the Avengers will likely use time travel to collect the Infinity Stones to battle Thanos, it’s unclear who will actually wield the new Infinity Gauntlet that contains said stones.
Many have theorizes that Hulk will control the fate of the universe when he dons the completed Infinity Gauntlet, and it makes a lot of sense. He’ll finally have the chance to create good rather than be the source of destruction à la Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But I think it’ll be Captain America who wears the gauntlet, ultimately leading to him sacrificing his life to save millions (billions?) of others.
We don’t trade lives
There’s a quote from Captain America that perfectly foreshadows his fate in Avengers 4. “We don’t trade lives,” he tells Vision about midway through Avengers: Infinity War. What he means is that under no circumstances will he leave anybody behind; it’s the antithesis to Thanos’ vision of purging life to save the universe. But that doesn’t mean Captain America isn’t willing to break his own rule.
Since Steve Rogers became a super soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger, it always seemed like he was destined to save the universe. He already proved he’s willing to sacrifice himself when he jumped on a grenade, not knowing that it was a fake.
Once Cap is faced with the possibility of completely undoing the destruction wrought by Thanos—and with an Infinity Gauntlet at Cap’s disposal—he won’t think twice about sacrificing himself if it means saving others.
If he does indeed wield an Infinity Gauntlet and un-snap life back into existence, he probably won’t survive. Thanos barely did at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Also consider this: When Captain America challenged Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, there seemed to be an unspoken acknowledgement there, a sense that Thanos realized that Cap is special. Little does he know that Captain America will be the one to defeat him once and for all.
Actor Chris Evans only has one more movie left on his Marvel contract, Avengers 4, so either way he’s done after his next confrontation with Thanos. With everything the character has been through over the past several years, he seems primed to make the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers 4. It would be the perfect thematic end to his time (and his beard) in the MCU, a noble and poetic end for the franchise’s most endearing Avenger.