Who will be the next Captain America? Marvel Studios original series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier asks the question after Avengers: Endgame, where the 112-year-old retired Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) relinquishes the mantle and shield of Captain America to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Despite inheriting the star-spangled shield of Captain America, Mackie says other potential successors to the moniker include Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) — Rogers' war buddy and longtime best friend — and John Walker (Wyatt Russell), a.k.a. the government-sanctioned U.S. Agent. By the end of the six-episode series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have its new Captain America.
"At the end of Endgame, Sam didn't accept the shield. If you remember, he told Steve, 'It doesn't feel right, because the shield is yours,'" Mackie said on The Rich Eisen Show. "So [The Falcon and the Winter Soldier] is a long way of figuring around who's gonna be Captain America, where is the shield gonna end up, and if that moniker is gonna come back — and if somebody's gonna hold that moniker again."
Walking back comments identifying himself as the next Captain America, Mackie says a lack of leaks means "you don't know who Captain America is gonna be" in Falcon and Winter Soldier. (Photos of leaked merchandise would ultimately reveal the identity of Rogers' replacement.)
"It's interesting knowing what happens in the show because a lot of people are like, 'Oh, you're Captain America.' I'm like, 'That's not true,'" Mackie recently told the Lights Camera Barstool podcast. "If you look at the end of Endgame, Sam never accepts the shield. There's no [spoilers]… out of all the Marvel movies that have been made there's always been a photograph of something leaked of the costume, where it's like, 'Here's what he's gonna look like!' You didn't see anything leaked about me."
In 2019, Mackie revealed what some might consider a spoiler when he said it was "very emotional" taking on the mantle of Captain America like his comic book counterpart before him.
"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," he said in a November 2019 interview. "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 Friday, March 19, only on Disney+.
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