Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and lifelong best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) mutually agreed Rogers would relinquish his shield, and the mantle of Captain America, to right-hand man Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), confirm Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Asked by Variety if Bucky's nod of understanding was scripted, McFeely confirmed it was. "Yes. Yep." He added, "Our assumption is that he and Steve had a long conversation before Steve went back."
"It's pretty hard to give it to Bucky," Markus said.
"As much as we love him, he is on the dark path and is recovering from that. Sam really is a truly stand up guy. It wasn't a wildly difficult choice, certainly. I think Bucky has a lot more story as Bucky and as someone headed on a path of atonement. And Sam has ascended into this new role."
McFeely added the decision to have Wilson become the next Captain America is "much better for both of their stories this way."
"Certainly Bucky getting the shield would provide lots of story. I don't know if it gives Sam much story. And again, there's a streaming show coming, right? And I don't know what they're doing but Sam having the mantle of Captain America, how he feels about that, and Bucky working or having some kind of relationship with Hydra, I think that's pretty rich," McFeely said, pointing to the coming Disney+ exclusive series Falcon and Winter Soldier.
"Again, particularly as Bucky has to confront the mind control past. Captain America has always represented the best of the idea of America, you know? And giving it to an African-American guy… it's great. Not patting ourselves on the back, I'm just saying that's pointing toward a better America."
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