Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Marvel Studios and Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be here before you know it and, when it arrives, it’ll provide some surprises and finally answer some major questions. Fans are arguably most eager to know who’s set to wield that star-spangled shield now that Steve Rogers has retired as Captain America. The final moments of Avengers: Endgame made it appear that Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson is officially taking on the mantle. However, Mackie is asking fans not to get too ahead of themselves when it comes to the mantle of Captain America

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. 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.

Based on Anthony Mackie’s recent comments on Sirius XM’s The Jess Cagle Show, it looks like Sam Wilson’s path to becoming Captain America isn’t as cut and dry as some may have assumed. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier footage has shown Wilson with the shield, but he’ll likely only be pondering whether or not he wants to keep it when we first see him on the show.

The first official trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made it quite clear that the legacy of Captain America is going to factor into the series in a big way. And as Mackie alludes to, the show does present a few possible candidates for the big job. Aside from Sam, there’s Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, who may or may not want to step into the shoes of his old friend.

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It also appears that Sam will face a challenge in the form of newcomer John Walker (played by Wyatt Russell), who comic book fans likely know as the U.S. Agent. Details on the MCU’s version of the character are scarce, but there’s a good chance that Walker is the government’s ideal candidate for Captain America’s replacement.

Despite Anthony Mackie’s sentiments, the chances of Sam Wilson being the one to succeed Steve Rogers are honestly pretty high. Not only would the development fall in line with what we know from comic books, but having him not end up with the shield would take away from Wilson and Rogers’ beautiful exchange in Endgame.

Nevertheless, earning the mantle of Captain America shouldn’t be easy for Sam Wilson, and it’ll be exciting to see what kind of challenges he’ll face as he ponders his future. One thing that can be said now is that regardless of how things play out, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hits Disney+ on March 19.

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