THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER Star Anthony Mackie Talks Captain America Mantle And "Old Man Steve"

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER Star Anthony Mackie Talks Captain America Mantle And "Old Man Steve"

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie explains that Sam Wilson never actually agreed to become Captain America at the end of Avengers: Endgame, while also commenting on "Old Man Steve."

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, we learned that Steve Rogers had chosen to remain in the past alongside Peggy Carter. That meant he was an old man by the time we saw him sitting on that bench in the present day, and when he met up with Sam Wilson, the former Avenger gifted his friend a new shield... and the mantle of Captain America.

However, as Anthony Mackie pointed out during an interview on The Jess Cagle Show while discussing The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we don't actually know if Sam agreed to become the new Cap. 

"At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Cap decided he was going into retirement, and he asked me if I would take up the shield, but at no point in time, did I agree to or say that I would be Captain America," Mackie explained. "So the show walks the line of who is going to take up the shield and who's going to be Captain America if Steve isn't coming back." 

Talking about those final few moments in Endgame, the actor revealed that Marvel Studios considered casting "an old dude to play Chris Evans. So they brought in like three actors. They're like, none of these. Like, this isn't how Chris will look when he's old. Like, he's gonna [look] he's like George Clooney."

"He's going to be 95 and still like handsome, you know?" Mackie continued. "So, they brought in a makeup team and prosthetics and makeup and made him into an old man. And how good of an actor Chris is, it actually worked. He pulled it off with his voice and everything. He did a great job."

It's unclear whether Evans will be donning those prosthetics for any future appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's clear that the legacy of Captain America will be a focal point of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

Initially, it looks like John Walker will be taking over the role, but who knows if Sam - or Bucky - will ultimately be the ones to take over from him when and if he relinquishes the shield!


Click on the "Next" button below to check out a ranking of
each hero (and villain) to hold the Captain America mantle!

10. Frank Castle

Frank-C

Civil War established that Frank Castle had great respect for Steve Rogers, even after the most patriotic Avenger beat him up for gunning down a couple of criminals in front of him. 

After Cap's apparent assassination, Frank decided to reinvent the mantle for himself, becoming a twisted cross between Captain America and The Punisher. He continued to kill those who broke the law, but ultimately agreed to relinquish the mask when he was confronted by Bucky (who was understandably furious that he was killing in Cap's name). 

His time as "Captain America" was brief, and outside of the psychotic William Burnside, Frank is easily the worst "hero" to have taken on this role in the Marvel Universe. 

It's not that Captain America doesn't kill; he just doesn't kill like this.
 

9. Samantha Wilson

Se1

On the world that Spider-Gwen calls home, Captain America is a young black woman called, wait for it, Samantha Wilson.

However, she was no former sidekick. Instead, she was convinced by Peggy Carter to take part in Project: Rebirth, and her story played out not all that differently to Steve's. Taking on the likes of the Red Skull and Baron Zemo, she too ended up in the ice, but became an icon in the process.

In the present, she worked for S.H.I.E.L.D., and continued to fight the good fight. 

This was a special Captain America, but one who hasn't had quite enough time on the page for us to rank any higher than this.
 

8. John Walker

USA

John Walker will become the MCU's new Captain America in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but fans of the comics will know him better as U.S. Agent. 

The military veteran was enlisted by the U.S. Government to fill the void left by Steve Rogers when he became Nomad, and while his stint as Captain America was short-lived, he made quite an impact as a far more violent, darker Cap who was a little less forgiving while protecting his countries.

Walker later overcame his mental health issues to be portrayed in a heroic light, but his time as Captain America wasn't quite so positive.

It should be interesting seeing how his MCU counterpart differs.
 

7. Sharon Rogers

USA1

A character in Marvel's Future Fight rather than the comics, Sharon Rogers is the daughter of Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter.

In that world, Steve never ended up taking a plunge into the ice. Instead, he got his happy ending with Peggy, and Sharon started working for S.H.I.E.L.D. after her parents retired. This led to her becoming Captain America, and that new, formidable looking shield was created for her by Iron Man. 

We love the idea of this Captain America, and it's something Marvel Studios could now choose to explore on screen. 

After all, if Steve rewrote the timeline when he went back in time, this Sharon could be out there somewhere, but would likely be his grandaughter rather than daughter.
 

6. Peggy Carter

Peggy

Talking of Peggy Carter, it's not just in the upcoming What If? animated series that she wields the shield.

On Earth-86315, Peggy is convinced by Howard Stark to take the Super Soldier Serum after both Dr. Abraham Erskine and Steve Rogers are gunned down by the Nazis.

This Cap first appeared in the Marvel Puzzle Quest mobile game, and while she doesn't have much history (she was only introduced in 2018), Peggy made her mark. That's despite having an origin story which is very much rooted in tragedy after the shocking demise of Steve. 

We just hope What If? is able to do her justice when she becomes Captain Britain!
 

5. Isaiah Bradley

Isiah

Retconned into the Marvel Universe's history, Isaiah Bradley was among the 300 Black soldiers the U.S. Government tested the Super Soldier Serum on after Steve Rogers was successfully transformed into Captain America.

His story is a dark and upsetting one, but it's well worth tracking down (especially given how relevant it is to what's happening in the world today). He didn't end up in ice, but left quite the legacy after his World War II adventures, with his grandson, Eli Bradley, the one-time leader of the Young Avengers as Patriot.

Isaiah is often overlooked, but an important, relevant, part of the Captain America legacy. 

It's believed we'll see this character in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as Sam Wilson ponders whether to take the Super Soldier Serum like Steve did before him.
 

4. Danielle Cage

Danieele

Before leaving Marvel for DC, Brian Michael Bendis teased the possibility that Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' daughter, Danielle, might be a Skrull imposter.

That's yet to be addressed, but in one possible future, she becomes the new Captain America. 

Her powers developed from her superhero parents rather than a Super Soldier Serum, and she was both incredibly strong and bulletproof. That made her a force to be reckoned with as she battled the Golden Skull and his minions. Despite a limited amount of time on the page, this Cap resonated with readers in a big way. 

We just hope we get to see more of her soon.
 

3. Sam Wilson

Sam

When the Super Soldier Serum was removed from Steve Rogers, he reverted to his normal self, and became an old man in the process (it was pretty wacky). 

Steve took control of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Sharon Carter, but the Marvel Universe needed a Captain America. That was where Sam Wilson came in, and while the former Falcon wielding the shield was initially met with a mixed response, he soon proved that he had what it took to hold this mantle. 

With Redwing by his side, and those wings still part of his arsenal, Sam led the Avengers, took center stage in a number of big event stories, and even romanced the Mighty Thor (Jane Foster).

He back to being the Falcon these days, but we'll soon see him on screen in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
 

2. Bucky Barnes

Bucky

This might come down to personal preference more than anything else, but Bucky Barnes was a great Captain America. 

Despite being a wanted criminal for the time he spent as The Winter Soldier, Bucky realized he needed to pick up where his best friend, Steve Rogers, left off, and it didn't take long for him to prove himself. 

In Ed Brubaker's stellar Captain America run, Bucky took on all manner of threats. He also became a pivotal member of the New Avengers, the underground team who worked to protect the world in the shadows alongside Iron Man's "official" Mighty Avengers. He even gave his life in battle during Fear Itself

Thankfully, he was brought back from the dead, and has mostly been used as The Winter Soldier since.
 

1. Steve Rogers

Se

The blue eyed, blonde haired Steve Rogers was deemed unfit for military service, but wanted to do whatever it took to protect his country from the threat the Nazis posed. 

That eventually led to him taking the Super Soldier Serum, and becoming World War II hero, Captain America. Plunging into the ice saving the world from Baron Zemo, he spent decades frozen, only to be pulled from the depths by the Avengers. In an America unfamiliar to him, Steve continued serving not just his country, but the entire world, against all manner of threats. 

He's without a doubt the best Captain America, and not just because he's the original. 

Despite a villainous blip thanks to Secret Empire, it's hard to fault Steve Rogers, and even harder to argue with him being the best Captain America in Marvel Comics history! 
 

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