5 Actors Who Could Play Captain America Next

iStock/BrendanHunter
iStock/BrendanHunter

It seems to be all but official that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing one of its first and
brightest stars. After he finished filming for the secretive and as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, Chris Evans—who has been playing Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers in the franchise since 2011—stated in a cryptic tweet that he will be stepping away from the role.

Given the nature of his character and the bizarre multimedia franchise he's now involved it, it is likely that Steve Rogers willdie in the upcoming film, leaving the role of Captain America up for grabs. Fans are already scrambling to figure out which of the many comic characters to take up the mantle is set for the MCU treatment and, more importantly, who would be playing them. Here are our top five picks.

1. SEBASTIAN STAN

 Sebastian Stan attends the Gersh Upfronts Party 2018 at The Bowery Hotel on May 15, 2018 in New York City
Jared Siskin, Getty Images for Gersh

This one seems the most likely as not only would it be keeping more accurately to the comics, but ​Bucky Barnes making the transition to become Captain America would be the logical summation of his character growth. The MCU has basically been setting up his ascension to the role since the scene in Captain America: The First Avenger when he first picked up the iconic shield.

2. ANTHONY MACKIE

The Falcon and Captain America shared a series and a billing for years as equal partners, making it one of the most racially progressive moves and relationships in comics at the time. Later in comic lore, Falcon inherited Cap's shield when the latter's super soldier serum wore off and he aged exponentially. As Sam Wilson, Mackie would be well within his rights to hold the star shield.

3. KEKE PALMER

 Actress KeKe Palmer attends Columbia Pictures 'Superfly' Atlanta special screening on June 7, 2018 at SCADShow in Atlanta, Georgia
Paras Griffin, Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment

In the future of the Marvel universe of the comics, the role of Captain America is taken up by Danielle Cage, the daughter of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Both Luke and Jessica already exist in the MCU, played by Mike Colter and Krysten Ritter, but they have yet to have their baby.

However, if Avengers 4 uses a time travel McGuffin as many suspect it will, there's a chance we could see what their adult child would look like in the star-spangled suit. If we do, ​Keke Palmer looks like almost a perfect fusion of the two Netflix actors and could certainly pull off the red, white, and blue.

4. DENZEL WASHINGTON

In the comics, before the final version of the super soldier serum was used to transform Steve Rogers into Captain America, prototype versions were used on African Americans with varying degrees of willingness in a blatant nod to the tragic Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Of those tested on, only Isaiah Bradley survived.

While not frozen in ice, Bradley's serum slowed his aging to the point where he is still alive and empowered in the current comic continuity. It wouldn't be too much of a leap in logic for the MCU to retroactively declare that there was a second, African American Cap ready to take over
if Rogers ever died. If they do, Denzel Washington would be an ideal choice to play him as Marvel has discussed roles with him before.

5. RYAN PHILLIPPE

Actor Ryan Phillippe attends the NBCUniversal 2016 Upfront Presentation on May 16, 2016 in New York, New York
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

One of the people to take the moniker of Captain America was John Walker, a wannabe American war hero who operated under the name U.S. Agent. After Steve Rogers went rogue during the events of Civil War, Walker was approached with an offer to be the new Captain America. While he served very briefly in the role, he proved to be a much more violent and brutal version of the character.

A veteran of military shooter films and television shows, Ryan Phillippe might be a good choice to play a more militaristic, bloodthirsty Cap.

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

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The Meteoric Rise—and Tragic Fall—of NASA's Skylab

NASA // Public Domain
NASA // Public Domain

On May 14, 1973, NASA launched Skylab, the first American space station. It fell to earth six years later, burning up in the atmosphere on July 11, 1979.

Skylab itself was a heavily modified third stage of a Saturn V rocket—the same system we used to send Apollo missions to the moon. The station was huge, measuring more than 80 feet in length, with a 21-foot diameter. During launch, Skylab 1 suffered major damage to its solar array, which delayed the launch of the Skylab 2 crew (originally intended to launch the day after Skylab itself reached orbit). The Skylab 2 mission was modified to include repair work to the solar power system and installation of a solar heat shield, as the original one was lost during launch. The Skylab 2 crew launched on May 25, 1973.

The Skylab missions resulted in new information about long-term space habitation (including an awesome space shower). The first crew spent 28 days in space; the second crew more than doubled that at 59 days; and the final crew (Skylab 4) spent 84 days up there. That last record was not broken by an American for two decades. Skylab also focused on solar science, Earth science, and microgravity experiments.

Skylab was something of a bridge between the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Indeed, Skylab was supposed to be serviced (and its orbit boosted) by the first Shuttle, but it wasn't ready in time. Skylab's orbit decayed, eventually causing it to disintegrate and fall to Earth over the Indian Ocean on July 11, 1979. Chunks of the station made a bit of a fireworks display streaking through the atmosphere, and ultimately littered a swath of Australia. No injuries were reported from the falling debris, though media coverage of the reentry was intense.

Here's a short NASA documentary on Skylab, explaining the story of the station. Have a look:

If you'd like to relive the launch, here's live TV coverage from that day:

And if you'd like to learn more about its crash, and what it taught NASA moving forward, watch this:

This story has been updated for 2020.