Call off Operation: Rebirth.

Back in January, rumors surfaced that Chris Evans’ retirement from the role of Captain America would be short-lived, with the actor negotiating to appear in “at least one Marvel property with the door open for a second film.” The information indicated that Evans could appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in supporting roles, the way Robert Downey Jr. served as a mentor to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Fans were elated, but their excitement didn’t last long. Evans himself quickly weighed in on the report tweeting that it was “news to me.” And now Marvel President Kevin Feige has added his own denial to the mix in an interview about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for Entertainment Weekly. Asked about those earlier reports about a Captain America return, Feige replied “I rarely answer no to anything anymore because things are always surprising me with what happens, but that rumor, I think, was dispelled rather quickly by the man himself.”

Fans desperate for a new Chris Evans Cap appearance might argue Feige himself doesn’t actually say, “No, Chris Evans is not coming back,” making this a clever sort of non-denial denial. But Chris Evans’ return was always a long shot. He’s only been gone for less than two years, and the whole point of the next Marvel TV series is about finding his Captain America replacement. With or without a surprise Chris Evans cameo, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres this Friday on Disney+.

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