With Anthony Mackie set to fully don the red, white, and blue of Captain America in the next feature-length movie for the character, there’s been plenty of speculation about how the next story for the new version would work out. There are plenty of directions to go now that Mackie’s Sam Wilson has the shield. We Got This Covered has a rumor that the Captain America 4 story will lean even more heavily into politics than previous versions, which is really saying something.
As part of this rumor, and it is very much only a rumor at this point, the Anthony Mackie version of Captain America 4 will feature increased political overtones and have a more mature storyline as well. This would continue, somewhat, along the path set up by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which just recently completed its limited run on Disney+. That show took a geopolitical stance around the reemergence of people following the Thanos event that wiped out half the world’s population. Somewhat heavy-handed at times, one of the the primary story arcs centered around a group of freedom fighters who thought the world’s governments had marginalized them.
There was a sense that when Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier that they would be dealing with issues on multiple fronts, including the Captain America legacy within their own government. The Steve Rogers version of the character had more than a few run-ins and disagreements (which is an understatement) with higher ups on the political food chain throughout his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Keeping a similar vibe for the character, meant to be almost a mascot for the United States, would make a lot of sense if this rumor, and it barely is one, is true.
That being said, reporting a Captain America 4 storyline with Anthony Mackie in the lead would trend politically isn’t all that hard to ascertain. It’s been a through-line for the character every step of the way in the movies so far. Produced by US Government military testing, used as a political rah-rah tool (even in Spider-Man: Homecoming when he’s doing high school PSA’s) and then recast as the John Walker version which looked good for the political higher-ups on paper, but ended real bad. These are central themes throughout.
We are still in the beginning stages of understanding how the Marvel Cinematic Universe plans to take the Anthony Mackie character and what he’s going to be up against. If politics and nationalism are at the forefront then could we see Captain Britain make an appearance? Or maybe even more versions of Red Guardian, played by David Harbour in the upcoming Black Widow. Both are their own country’s versions of Cap and politicizing things in this fashion could make sense.
And there’s also word that Anthony Mackie won’t be the only Captain America in his own ranks. Captain America 4 could be set to introduce other versions of the character as well with a female Captain America as well as an Asian and Native American character as well. We could be looking at one big political quagmire.
What I hope we don’t get is just another redux version of The Winter Soldier which was heavy on the political espionage themes. While a great movie, it stands to reason we’d want Anthony Mackie to have fights on a slightly different front.