Worried Captain America will leave the MCU? Chris Evans says Robert Downey Jr. is more likely to go

Captain America actor Chris Evans is nearing the end of his contract with Marvel, but he says he's not the one that fans should be most worried about right now. The 35-year-old actor told USA Today that Robert Downey Jr., who helped set the tone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his portrayal of Iron Man in 2008 and has been a cornerstone of its shared world since then, is getting that 10-year itch.

"Downey is far closer to reaching that point where he may walk away," Evans explained. "And I don’t know how you replace Downey as Tony Stark. I don’t know who else can touch that."

Spider-Man: Homecoming will mark the roughly billionth MCU appearance for Downey as Tony Stark, this time as a mentor / absent-father-figure to a teenage Peter Parker. Stark's roles in previous films have spanned overconfident playboy, terrified hostage, PTSD-suffering AI creator, and pro-establishment sorta-villain. It's difficult to imagine the Marvel films without his trademark charisma and wit to unify them, though I'm sure Disney and Marvel executives already have several briefcases full of plans ready to enact whenever his contract expires.

Back in 2011, Evans told Total Film with no small amount of awe that his contract could see him playing Captain America until he was 40. That's less than five years off now. Evans acknowledged that it would "be hard" to see another actor take on the mantle of Captain America once he moves on from the role (whenever that actually happens), but there's beauty and joy in passing that torch too.

"I’ve had a great run. Superheroes are reinvent-able entities, like Batman or even James Bond. These movies find new incarnations and new ways to tell the story. I am all for it," Evans said. "However they want to proceed after Avengers 4, it’s really up to them. I walk away with no regrets and endlessly thankful."

Want to see who else may bow out from the MCU soon? Check out our full list of Marvel actors and their contracts. Then check out our full Spider-Man: Homecoming news round-up for more info on the upcoming return of the webslinger.

Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, and Donald Glover, Spider-Man: Homecoming will hit theaters on July 7, 2017.

Images: Marvel / Disney

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.