When Steve Rogers handed over his shield to Sam Wilson during Avengers: Endgame‘s final moments, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was clearly playing its next hand. Comic book fans already know that Sam has assumed the star spangled mantle before, of course, and with or without Chris Evans, Captain America is a hugely valuable and marketable commodity.
However, even though the long game has been made abundantly clear, it was never going to be a case of Anthony Mackie simply suiting up the next time we saw him. Indeed, the fact that his spinoff series is titled The Falcon and the Winter Solider and not Captain America and the Winter Solider was a pretty solid indication of what one of the upcoming Disney Plus exclusive’s major subplots was going to be, especially when the news broke that Wyatt Russell had been cast as John Walker.
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Based on the first trailer, Walker is the government’s hand-picked successor to Steve Rogers, even though Sam was chosen by the man himself. We’ve heard in the past that we won’t see the co-title hero in full Captain America garb until the closing moments of the final episode, and in a recent interview, Mackie attempted to cast even more doubt on where the story was headed.
“No, we don’t know that yet. The show, the idea of the show is basically, you know, and at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Cap decided he was going into retirement and he asked me if I would take up the shield, but at no point in time, did I agree to or say that I would be Captain America. So the show walks the line of who is going to take up the shield and who’s going to be Captain America if Steve isn’t coming back.”
The actor makes a good point, because he may have been handed the shield, but isn’t like he flat out says he can’t wait to be Captain America. There are obviously going to be more than a few hurdles to overcome during The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s six episodes, too, but either way, we don’t have too long left to wait until we find out what’ll happen, with the premiere just a little over nine weeks away.