Back in April, Avengers: Endgame brought an end to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we knew it, bringing to a close the stories of characters like Iron Man and Captain America. However, the film also delivered new beginnings for the franchise going forward. In one of the final scenes of the movie, an aging Steve Rogers hands his shield over to Sam Wilson, making him the new Captain America in the MCU.
For the writers and directors of Endgame, it was never a debate as to who Steve should grant his mantle to. Some fans felt Bucky should become Captain America after Steve, but that wasn't an option for the creators. On the Avengers: Endgame feature commentary track, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely agree that the Shield was always meant for Sam.
They also explain that Steve's decision at the end of the movie sets up all sorts of interesting storylines for the future.
"Sam represents everything Captain America is supposed to represent, which is the idea of what this country could be," Markus says. "And Bucky, as I've said before, in a way he represents what this country actually is, which is a murky, political situation as evidenced in Winter Soldier. But Captain America has always represented the idea behind the country."
"Well its a rich story going forward, if Marvel chooses to explore it," adds McFeely. "What does it mean for this man with his own identity as Falcon, to take on another one? What does it mean for an African-American man to take on the mantle of Captain America? How does he feel about that? Is he honored? Does he chafe against it? You know, there's a lot of rich stuff to explore there."
Joe Russo also notes that Falcon's turn is a bit unprecedented in the MCU, marking "the first time that an identity is being passed from one character to another."
The story of Sam and Bucky will continue in 2020 with the debut of the Disney+ original series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will reprise their roles.
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