A Falcon Movie Isn't Likely
While Falcon has been an important support hero, he's not had a chance to spread his wings in his own solo film. And Anthony Mackie isn't sure that would work, either. As far back as 2016, he was pointing out that the real fun of portraying this character was seeing him interact with other heroes. "I like going to work with good people," he objected, "to meet these people and see the way they work and kind of delve into their process as well is really a learning experience for me. So I feel like when you go to work and it’s just you, and it’s me -- ‘Look at me, haha’ -- it takes away from that." You definitely get the sense Mackie quite likes the MCU as it is and that he'll find the transition to an MCU without Chris Evans to be a difficult one.
It's important to note that this is quite an old quote (it comes from before the release of Captain America: Civil War) and we have absolutely no idea of Marvel's future plans. While there's no evidence a Falcon movie is on the cards, it is possible Sam Wilson could star in his own spinoff TV show. It was recently reported that Marvel Studios is working on a series of spinoff eight-to-ten-episode TV shows, produced with a film budget and starring secondary characters like Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch and Tom Hiddleston's Loki that will go straight to the streaming service Disney is launching next year. Falcon is a character who could potentially work well in that format too.
Falcon Was Captain America More Recently In The Comics
Both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have had stints as Captain America in the comics, but Sam's is a lot more recent - and it worked a lot better, too. Bucky's time as Captain America faced one simple problem; the hero was forever living in the shadow of what he'd been before (that would be true in the MCU as well given that he's a highly accomplished assassin who's a wanted international fugitive). In truth, Bucky's comic book run as Captain America was a strange one, with a tension between his own character and the role he was trying to play.
In contrast, Sam Wilson's transformation into Captain America felt like a natural development for the hero. Falcon had always felt he was caught in Captain America's shadow - as he reflected in one issue, "My name isn't... and the Falcon" - and stepping up like this was something he took tremendously seriously. Sam was very much conscious of the shoes he was trying to fill, and of the symbolic significance of a black Captain America. He became a much more politically aware, and socially conscious, version of the Star-Spangled Avenger. That was controversial, both in the comics themselves and among readers; but it was certainly a natural evolution. In the MCU, it's true that Sam Wilson is currently a wanted man as well, due to his refusal to acquiesce to the Sokovia Accords. However, it seems safe to assume that whatever happens in Avengers 4 will resolve that particular plot thread.
Kevin Feige Has Promised That Diversity Is The Future Of The MCU
Marvel Studios has been pressed about the issue of diversity in Hollywood for years, and until recently they basically tried to keep their heads down. All that's changed over the last year or so, with Marvel visionary Kevin Feige seemingly emboldened by the popular response to Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and the tremendous box office success of Black Panther. "As Panther has so loudly declared," Feige recently stated, "[representation] can only help you, can only help you tell unique stories, can only help you do things in a new, and unique, and fresh, and exciting way. If you do that, audiences will notice it, and appreciate it, and support it."
As a result, Marvel is looking at female directors, an abundance of female characters, and at least two LGBTQ heroes. A black Captain America would be another way to continue that diversity, giving one of the series' biggest titles to an established person of color.
Frank Grillo Suggests There Could Be A Black Captain America
Step forward Frank Grillo, who played Crossbones in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. In one recent interview, Grillo recalled his time with Marvel and discussed just who the next Captain America could be, saying he wouldn't be surprised to see an African American or female successor. This would further point towards Falcon over Bucky.
It's worth noting that Grillo references "rumors", so he may be responding more to fan speculation than anything he's heard officially. Indeed, there's really no reason Marvel Studios would be keeping Grillo in the loop when it comes to their plans for Phase 4 and beyond, not least because his character was killed off in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. There's some evidence he may well return in Avengers 4, likely as a result of time travel, but that's as yet unproven.
However, in the light of everything discussed regarding the future of Captain America, it certainly chimes with the expectation. Steve Rogers is yet to bow out of the MCU, but don't be surprised if after Avengers 4 it's Sam Wilson taking up the shield.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019