It was really the perfect time to announce this and on Friday we got the big news. There’s going to be Captain America 4 and Chris Evans is going to be officially replaced as Cap in the movie universe and on the big screen. Coming on the heels of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wrapping up its season, one had to think there was something brewing considering how we left those characters. And now we know. A new shield-wielder is coming and it’s something of a logical turn for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Hollywood Reporter had the story on Friday and we continue to see major pivots for the MCU.
The news of Captain America 4 being greenlit will mean a totally new story for the moniker though of course not the same character because Chris Evans, who made the role famous on the big screen isn’t going to take part. The new film will be directed by Malcolm Spellman who was the showrunner and head writer for Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He’s also bringing on Dalan Musson who is one of the writers on the show as well. It’s a huge move and further cements the idea that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is willing to not only recast its heroes, which we already knew but is also willing to have the proverbial torch passed within the universe itself. It doesn’t take an enormous leap in logic to assume Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson will be the official big-screen Captain, though that isn’t confirmed.
There isn’t much else in the way of news for this Captain America 4 movie though that’s to be expected considering the timing came basically right after the Disney+ show had ended. While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wasn’t directly in the Captain America franchise we can, at worst, call it a spiritual successor. It picked up almost immediately after we last left Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers and Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson talking on the park bench at the end of Avengers: Endgame. And it was definitely as concerned with Rogers’ absence as it was with the remaining characters’ stories. The show desperately wanted to discuss the legacy involved with the passing of the shield and made it a major part of the season.
Captain America 4 won’t necessarily take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four but it does likely cement Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes/ Winter Soldier for years to come in the MCU. Wilson is the holder of the shield right now, though that’s clearly been a reluctant move for the character. But there’s a place for it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Sam Wilson eventually taking over as the full-time Captain America in the comic books during certain arcs.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is now clearly working as something like the prologue for Captain America 4, had a very successful critic run for the six-episode limited series on Disney+. Sitting at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show wrestled with complex ideas around race, status, symbolism, and identity in a show that saw the two lead characters navigating the world post Blip, post-Thanos and mostly post Avengers.
We are sure to get more news about Captain America 4 sooner than later considering it represents one of the biggest shifts within the MCU yet. Casting could be predictable around the central figures, but there are a lot of ways for this story to go.