Steve Rogers may have moved on from being a superhero in Avengers: Endgame, but the mantle of Captain America still plays a central role in the MCU. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, wrestle with the prospect of becoming the new Captain America, before finally accepting the charge. Now, Mackie is set to play Cap in the upcoming Captain America 4. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor explained that his version of Cap is going to be much more grounded since he is not a super-soldier like Steve Rogers was.
"What I think was interesting with Chris' Cap, and what Chris Evanss was able to do with that character was really bring a level of strength and confidence to him. He really brought an even-keeled, well-rounded, three-dimensional character... A lot of people don't realize that Sam Wilson is the only superhero who has no superpowers. He's just a regular guy who went for a jog and became an Avenger. So, he comes from a place of humanity and humility. It's not so much him just going through and tearing stuff up. It's about the cerebral, introspective idea of how do you handle a problem because he was a counselor. He's still got those hands though, but he's not a superhero, he's a regular guy."
As Anthony Mackie points out, beating his opponents into submission like Steve used to is not an option for Sam. But TFAWS has proven that The Falcon can also hold his own against super soldiers and supervillains in general. Besides, the final episode of the show gave Sam his own vibranium suit with wings, so that should come in quite handy when he has to take on global threats from this point onward.
Since Chris Evans' portrayal of Steve Rogers was so beloved, there has naturally been some pushback from a section of fans regarding Sam Wilson taking over as Captain America. In fact, the whole of TFAWS was about Sam wrestling with the same doubts, and believing no one was worthy of being called Captain America after Steve Rogers.
Still, Sam eventually concluded that even though Steve was gone, the mantle of Cap must live on, and decided to honor his friend's wish by accepting the responsibility of wielding Captain America's shield. According to Mackie, the love he has received in the role of Sam Wilson in TFAWS has been far greater than any negative feedback.
"I had never had the experience of just sitting back and enjoying it as a parent, instead of an actor in the show. The overwhelming appreciation and love is something I expected because I'm a cup half full kind of guy. Just because there's one annoying person on the Internet, that doesn't cancel out the millions of good people on the Internet. I just look at it that way."
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl.