In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man may have been the first prominent “recruit” to SHIELD’s Avenger Initiative, but in terms of command only one member of that group of remarkable people was deferred to as the leader: Captain America. Not even the dissolution of SHIELD and the Sokovia Accord branding fugitive status to the Star-Spangled Man, portrayed by Chris Evans, kept him from rallying Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and allies against existential threats like Thanos when needed most. But with Evans’ and his character’s MCU exit after “Avengers: Endgame,” it seemed no new “Captain America” movie would come from the franchise anymore. Then “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” ended.
That streaming limited series, part of the MCU Phase 4 shows streaming exclusively on Disney+, completed its six-episode run last Friday, April 23. In the wake of its conclusion, particularly the new status quo for Anthony Mackie’s character Sam Wilson/Falcon, Marvel Studios has begun bouncing ideas for a “Captain America 4,” with Mackie replacing Chris Evans in the lead according to The Hollywood Reporter. With Sam Wilson bearing Steve Rogers’ vibranium shield and wearing a Wakanda-designed star-spangled uniform with high-tech wing-pack, he is now ready to step up as Cap.
And it makes sense for Marvel Studios to engage the head writer of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” to carry on Sam’s story as inheritor of Steve Rogers’ duty and legacy. Malcolm Spellman is also teaming up with the series staff writer Dalan Musson, though no director has been announced and no casting has been confirmed. That means Evans’ retirement from the role remains set in stone, although it would be interesting to see multiple persons suited up as Captain America in a story, especially since it was never made clear what happened to the aged Rogers following “Endgame.”
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” focused on the further adventures of Steve’s “sidekicks” Falcon (Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) six months after “Avengers: Endgame,” as they take on anti-national anarchists the Flag-Smashers which have gained superhuman strength from a replication of the original Super-Soldier serum, while steering clear of John Walker (Wyatt Russell), active soldier and the government-appointed successor to Captain America. Sam, having surrendered Cap’s shield to the government even after Steve entrusted it to him, ponders the viability of an African-American becoming the Star-Spangled Man, when he himself is subjected to ongoing racial discrimination to the point that he sympathizes with the Flag-Smashers’ ideals, but not their blatantly terroristic methods.
The series is now complete and is available on Disney+ streaming. There have been three “Captain America” films starring Chris Evans on the MCU (2011, 2014 and 2016), not including the “Avengers” movies where he is a prominent lead character.
Image courtesy of Comic Book.com