Although some might have doubted it, Chris Evans' portrayal as the square-jawed, moral centre of the Avengers really did help to make the MCU work as well as it did.
After a so-so opening film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an expertly-crafted espionage blockbuster whilst Civil War managed to just about surpass it. While Age of Ultron might not have hit all the right notes with audiences, Evans' performance was nevertheless well-balanced and convincing, considering the context.
However, it looks Evans' time is almost up as Captain America. In an interview with Esquire, Evans confirmed that his contract with Marvel is up once the next two Avengers films - Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers film - are completed.
Evans was reportedly offered a nine-picture deal with Marvel when he signed on for Captain America: The First Avenger, but balked and asked for a six-picture deal instead. In case you're doing the math and it doesn't work out, there's an explanation for that. Infinity War was originally supposed to be one film split into two parts, however Marvel has since announced that the title to the second part will no longer be just Infinity War, Part II - but for the purposes of Evans' contract, it's still treated as one.
In any event, Evans backing away from the MCU isn't much of a surprise as both he and Robert Downey, Jr. have been open about how they're keen to try different things than continue on playing Captain America and Iron Man respectively. What it'll mean for the future of the MCU, however, is uncertain.
It's highly unlikely that they'll attempt to cast a new Captain America in the same role, but it's possible that someone will take up the mantle - say, Anthony Mackie's character, Falcon - instead. It's also possible that Marvel might offer Evans a new deal once the two films are completed, but it appears - for the moment, anyway - that Evans is no longer certain to play Cap beyond the next two Avengers films.
Avengers: Infinity War hits Irish cinemas on April 27th, 2018.