The poignant climax of Avengers: Endgame left one resounding question: would Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) adopt the mantle of Captain America after the aged Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) came back from his dance with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell)?
Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which paired Wilson with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), showcased Wilson's transition into a proto-Captain America. And it's now been confirmed by Deadline that Mackie will step up as the new Star Spangled Man in Marvel Studios movie Captain America 4.
Will there be any spillover effect between the TV show and the movie? Details aren't forthcoming, but Deadline confirms that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer and creator, Malcolm Spellman, will be tackling the screenplay for Captain America 4.
There's already been a degree of crossover between the small and big screen worlds of Marvel. At the end of the recent Marvel Studios movie Black Widow, breakout character Yelena (Florence Pugh) was greeted by her minder/handler Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Valentina appeared in two episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and is potentially being set up as the next big bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Anyway, that's all in the future. For now, we can relish the charismatic Mackie finally getting his moment in the Marvel spotlight. He first appeared in the MCU in 2014's superior Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and has been a reliable mainstay ever since.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is keeping his cards very close to his chest and no director has been announced yet. One can imagine that Captain America 4 will act as a key chapter in Marvel Phase Five, the only confirmed titles for which are Captain Marvel 2 and Black Panther 2, both due for release in 2022.
Stay tuned to the Cineworld blog for more details.