The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Confirmed to Be About Falcon Picking up Captain America's Shield

Marvel Studios' upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, reuniting Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) after the events of Avengers: Endgame, focuses on Wilson adapting to the responsibility of inheriting the star-spangled shield passed down from a retired Captain America(Chris Evans). In Endgame, a now 112-year-old Steve Rogers entrusted his shield to Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, positioning Wilson to one day become the new Captain America of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will first explore how Wilson deals with the pressure of accepting that shield, and Wilson soldiering on in the face of that pressure is "what the whole show is about," says Marvel Studios president and Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige.

"We saw Old Man Cap hand that shield to Sam Wilson at the end of [Endgame], and the question is, what did he do with it next? What does it mean for Sam Wilson and that shield?" Feige said at Brazil's CCXP19. "That's a big responsibility, and that's very much what the show focuses on and is about."

Wilson might have to contend with U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), the United States government's answer to the costumed super soldier, just as Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) — who splintered Earth's mightiest heroes in Captain America: Civil War — makes his return. Wilson and Barnes will again find themselves aligned with Steve's former flame and accomplished S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp).

During Disney's bi-annual D23 Expo in August — where Marvel Studios revealed new details behind its slate of original programming for the Disney+ streaming service — Mackie downplayed expectations Wilson would don the name and uniform of Captain America like his comic book counterpart, telling Variety, "I am the Falcon. I will always be the Falcon. The moniker will stay the same."

Whether Wilson becomes the next Captain America in name or in spirit, Mackie most recently said the experience has been "very emotional."

"I've been in the business for 20 years and I've been fortunate to do some amazing stuff and work with amazing people. For me, to be a Black man in 2019 and be given the helm of Captain America with the history of Black men in this country is a monumental step, not only in entertainment, but also in my life," Mackie told Deadline in November. "It's been extremely emotional. Look, my grandfather was a sharecropper, you know what I mean? There's a lot of history and pain and triumph and joy that comes along with me being Captain America."

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres exclusively on Disney+ in Fall 2020. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.