(Warning: Avengers: Endgame and MCU spoilers will be found below.)
Even Chris Evans had a difficult time while attempting to explain Captain America’s Avengers: Endgame timeline shenanigans, but fortunately, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely formally signed onto the fan theory that Steve Rogers was Peggy Carter’s husband all along. Never mind that this sounds like a quantum disaster, right? These are comic book movies, so we can lighten up. However, things truly got crazy in fan-theory land a few months ago after someone noticed that an attendee from Peggy’s funeral scene in Captain America: Civil War had a grey hairdo that strongly resembled “Old Cap” (whose digital aging process was recently revealed in a bonus feature, and it’s truly an eye-popping visual to behold) at the end of Endgame.
The Russos directed both movies, which makes it easier to suggest that they might have snuck this little easter egg into the mix, and now, Comic-Con quotes from the Endgame writers are belatedly surfacing to essentially endorse the fan theory that two Captain Americas, young and old, were in attendance at the funeral. Obviously, “Young Cap” was a pallbearer, and that’s not up for debate.
“I would like to believe that through some sort of bullshit time loop paradox — throw in the words you use when you’re bullshitting science in a movie: ‘some sort of quantum paradox’ — that there are indeed two Captain Americas in the MCU timeline. That Steve Rogers who looped back into time has therefore always been there, and that he is living somewhere else in the movies you’re watching … And what I really like to believe is that there’s an old man sitting in back at Peggy’s funeral in Civil War, and that’s old Steve Rogers, watching young Steve Rogers, carry old Steve Rogers’s wife up to the front of the church. Can I explain it scientifically? Not really, no.”
Markus also spoke to the LA Times at SDCC with a similar sentiment while stating that he and Stephen McFeely have had some sort of disagreement with the Russos on what the time travel stuff means for Cap, and he touched further on the funeral stuff:
“There is no set explanation for Cap’s time travel. I mean, we’ve had public disagreements with [directors Anthony and Joe Russo] about what it necessarily means [laughs], but I love the idea of there being two Steve Rogers in the timeline. One who lived a long life with Peggy and is in the background of that funeral scene watching his young self carry his wife’s coffin up. Not just for the time travel mumbo jumbo of it, but for the just weird, personal pain and satisfaction that would be happening between two Steve Rogers there. I kind of love it.”
It remains unclear whether the “disagreements” with the Russos involved two Caps at the funeral, or if this was a general reference to disagreements about the general time travel mess. Hopefully, the Russos will formally weigh in, but fans are gonna continue to theory hard no matter what.