The Falcon and the Winter Soldier just wrapped up, delivering the ending that we all expected. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is the new Captain America, and the journey to that destination was just as exciting as the conclusion. The TV show feels like a Marvel movie split into six parts, featuring the same kind of action, special effects, and production that you expect from an MCU adventure. The Disney+ series isn’t just about exploring iconic characters who do not have time to shine on the big screen, and it’s also not solely about having the audience witness Sam’s struggles with accepting the role that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) envisioned for him. It’s not just about incredible fight sequences, new costumes, and great Easter eggs. It’s also about bringing sensitive topics to the forefront. The show touches on race, social inequality, and politics right from the start — and Sam’s decision to accept the shield seems impossible without acknowledging all those factors.

After the finale, I said that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is required viewing to understand how the new Captain America came to be. Seeing Mackie in his new wings-and-shield Cap suit in a Marvel movie without watching the TV show’s origin story would do the character a disservice. And before I had a chance to make my case on why Falcon forces Marvel to give Sam his movie, a great rumor came out saying that Captain America 4 is already in the making with two key Falcon writers attached. The film should further solidify Sam’s position and explore what the new Cap means for the Avengers.

In all of this, there’s also a great silver lining. Marvel might get to have its Cap cake and eat it too. That’s because the MCU might get two different Captain America projects, which is some of the most exciting Marvel news we’ve heard in a long time.

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If it wasn’t already clear after Endgame, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier confirmed that Sam is the new Cap. Chris Evans retired his Steve Rogers jersey, passing the Cap mantle to one of his two best friends. Rogers will be sorely missed since he is one of the iconic characters who made films like Infinity War and Endgame possible. And as an actor in the MCU, Evans will also be missed. His tour with the character puts immense pressure on Marvel and Mackie, who have to reinvent one of the most beloved Avengers for future adventures.

Falcon gets us halfway there. We have a new type of hero, someone who has not been enhanced with any special serum. But Sam has wings, which he combines with the shield. We end up with a new high-tech suit reminiscent of Iron Man and Black Panther tech, as well as a unique fighting style. The elements that remain in place are the vibranium shield and the same moral compass that Steve had.

Despite all that, it will be difficult for some fans to let go of Rogers. To paraphrase Sam’s line from Endgame, the only thing bumming out some people might be the fact that they have to live in a world without Rogers’ Captain America. As it turns out, however, Marvel might fix that. Reporting on the rumor that Captain America 4 is in the works with Falcon showrunner Malcolm Spellman and writer Dalan Musson, Deadline offered us this little gem — emphasis ours:

While not confirmed sources say the project Spellman is writing could be one focused on Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson character while the possible Chris Evans Captain America project would be separate. Deadline first told you that Evans is in talks to reprise Steve Rogers.

In mid-January, Deadline reported that Chris Evans was near a deal to reprise his role as Captain America in a future Marvel project. If everything comes together, the actor will appear in at least one new movie, with the door open for a second film. Two months before the Falcon premiere, the rumor said that the project is “unlikely to be a new Captain America” film. And now that we saw Falcon, it would be impossible to make any Captain America movie without Anthony Mackie as the lead.

That report from January said that Rogers might appear in upcoming films just like Robert Downey Jr. did in other Marvel movies that were not part of the Iron Man trilogy. Evans had denied rumors of his return to the character quite a few times, and so did Marvel. But that’s to be expected. Marvel would want to keep such a deal under wraps for as long as possible in an effort to surprise viewers.

There are ways to bring Steve Rogers back to the MCU without ruining Endgame. We could get a story that tells us where Steve went after Endgame and how he retired. The more exciting prospect would be getting a different Steve Rogers from the multiverse — a different version of Captain America who might not be as righteous as the MCU’s main Rogers. Imagine how much more exciting that Cap vs. Cap battle would be than the brief one we got in Endgame. Sam facing off against an alternate-reality Steve in a future Avengers crossover would be epic.

That’s just speculation for the time being, of course. But if anyone can pull off this kind of stunt, that’s Marvel.

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Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.