The directors of Avengers: Endgame are here to try and help everyone better understand the ending of the movie. Specifically, they have some details to share on that finale as it relates to Captain America. While Joe and Anthony Russo have some answers for fans at the present time, they're also here to raise a great many more questions that may not be answered for quite some time.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. Seriously, this is about as spoilery as it gets so for those who haven't seen the movie yet, turn back now. One of the biggest surprises at the end of the movie has to do with Chris Evans' Captain America. He's tasked with returning all of the Infinity Stones to their proper place in the timeline, as to not create any messy branch timelines, which was explained to Hulk by The Ancient One earlier during the "time heist" portion of the movie. As we learn, Cap doesn't just return the stones and come right back. Instead, he decides to live out the life he never got to live with Peggy Carter.
He returns an old man at the moment in time he was originally supposed to return in. It's a sweet moment, while also being something of a head trip. In a recent interview with directors the Russo brothers, they do explain one nagging bit of this whole thing. As it turns out, Steve actually lived out his life with Peggy Carter in another dimension, and not the one he returned to as an old man. Here's what Joe Russo had to say about it.
"If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality. The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away? Interesting question, right? Maybe there's a story there. There's a lot of layers built into this movie and we spent three years thinking through it, so it's fun to talk about it and hopefully fill in holes for people so they understand what we're thinking."
So that does answer some questions. It means the reality that we've experienced in the MCU is, more or less, intact. There aren't multiple Captain America's running around, save for the brief periods during the time heist. It raises many others, like what happened in that alternate reality? How did Cap get there and back? Are we ever going to explore that reality for ourselves? For now, they're not giving any info up. Another interesting reveal came from Anthony Russo, who explained that old man Rogers was indeed played by Chris Evans in heavy prosthetic makeup.
"Obviously, if it doesn't work perfectly, it can undermine the emotional intention of the scene. We did a lot of practical effects, so it was a very elaborate makeup job that was then augmented with CG, because there's certain things that you can't do with makeup in order to make Cap credibly that age. You can't shrink Chris Evans' neck on set, you know what I mean? He's still got that yoke neck... Yeah, so [CG helps] things that you can't achieve, like the way the face drops. It's a balance we want to always strike between making him feel credibly aged, but also not compromising the performance."
Another tidbit they revealed is that Bucky knew something was up with Steve, which is why he gave him such a warm goodbye before he went to return the Infinity Stones. As for Sam getting Captain America's shield? They're not really ready to explore what that means for the future or which version of the shield it actually is. Again, this all gets trippy and there's a lot to explore in the future of the MCU. For now, at the very least, we know Steve's happy ending didn't mess with anything that was set right by the Avengers. This was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.