Anthony Mackie is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to reprise the role of Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and wield the shield in Captain America 4, according to Deadline. Rumors of the movie were first reported by Variety and Indiewire in April, but not many details were given about casting or development at that time.
Mackie has been a part of the MCU since 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, portraying the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics. He and fellow actor Sebastian Stan (who plays the MCU’s Bucky Barnes) have both have enjoyed success with the Disney+ miniseries spinoff The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (FWS), but this is the first time Mackie gets to be the sole attraction under the Marvel banner.
At the conclusion of 2019’s Endgame, the first Captain America (played by Chris Evans) gives his shield to Wilson. The moment symbolized a “passing of the torch” and mirrored a similar moment from the comic books, but it was unclear if any full-scale theatrical release would ever follow to continue the story.
Mackie was initially coy about if he was next in line to take up the on-screen mantle. “A lot of people are like, ‘You’re Captain America.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s not true,’” he said in January on the Lights, Camera, Barstool podcast in January. “If you look at the end of Endgame, Sam never accepts the shield.”
Around the same time, Deadline‘s Justin Kroll hinted that Disney/Marvel might have been working on another project to bring Evans back into the MCU in some capacity. But known for his lukewarm disposition towards the movie industry and paparazzi, Evans took some of the heat off of the story with a simple tweet: “News to me🤷🏻♂️.”
For its part, Marvel has provided no official statement about the existence of Captain America 4, but it is likely headed for a 2023 release date given the stacked lineup of MCU films already on deck. Sources also confirm that FWS head writer Malcolm Spellman is in charge of the script, and series writer Dalan Musson will assist. However, no director has been named for the project yet, and it remains uncertain which of Mackie’s MCU castmates will make an appearance in CA4, if any.