Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson was handed the symbolic Vibranium Captain America shield from an elderly Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, effectively becoming the next Captain America himself. Fans of comics know that it's actually Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) who took up that mantle first in Marvel Comics, but stories and character arcs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe played out different - and the directors, the Russo brothers, explained why that is by saying his mind is too damaged.
What's interesting then is the fact that Anthony Mackie is consistently telling media that he's "not Captain America," that he's still - and always will be - the Falcon, in the upcoming Falcon and The Winter Soldier miniseries. He said it right after appearing with Sebastian Stan last month at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and he said it Friday at the D23 Expo after again appearing on stage to promote the series during the Disney+ presentation.
On the carpet after the show, Stan and Mackie spoke with Variety who asked if the title of Falcon and The Winter Soldier would change since Sam Wilson is now Captain America. Mackie explained:
"No. I'm the Falcon. I will always be the Falcon. The moniker will stay the same."
After Mackie said similar to MTV at SDCC we called out the title of Falcon and The Winter Soldier as a "lie," and explained that each character does not actually go by these codenames anymore. While the pair are generally referred to by their actual names of Sam and Bucky within the dialogue of the films, in terms of callsigns, codenames, or aliases, they've most recently become Captain America and the White Wolf, respectively.
This, we theorize, is precisely the story of the Disney+ series. As a followup to the modern day Captain America films and the most recent pair of Avengers stories, Falcon and The Winter Soldier is undoubtedly about Falcon stepping up and earning the role of "Captain America" as they take on Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) who makes a return after serving as the antagonist of Civil War.
The Captain America symbol is in the updated logo for Falcon and The Winter Soldier for obvious reasons, Wilson was given the shield for a reason, and most telling of all, he admitted to being fitted for a new Captain America costume in the very same interview at Comic-Con with MTV. He was set to appear as Captain America in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Sam Wilson is Captain America, or will be soon. We can play games with semantics all day.