The question still holds true, even after the professedly clear and fateful scenes concluding Avengers: Endgame (2019): who is the new "Captain America?"
Marvel Studios begs the question once again as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021-) nears its release date by the day. The question should answer itself, after Steve "Captain America" Rogers (Chris Evans) passed the shield to Sam "Falcon" Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in Endgame's closing scene. According to Mackie, this might not be the case, as he never confirmed himself to be the new Captain.
"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."
Mackie backpedaled on his previous comments, and rephrased his explanation, saying that "'you don't know who Captain America is gonna be' in [The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.]"
He had recently told Lights Camera Barstool that "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 said. "If you look at the end of Endgame, Sam never accepts the shield. There are 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 what some might consider being a spoiler, Mackie had spoken up about the emotional moment of taking on the "Captain America" mantle in 2019. "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."
Mackie's earlier remarks and his later ones might have contradicted themselves, and there is no concrete answer as to who might be the next "Captain America" to come.
No matter who may bear the shield next, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will stream on Disney+ on March 19, 2021.