Who is going to be the next Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Of all the mysteries surrounding the coming mega-movie event “Avengers: Infinity War,” the potential for a new Captain America is perhaps the most buzz-worthy — even for a film that is supposed to be all about major MCU villain Thanos and his acquiring the Infinity Stones necessary to form the Infinity Gauntlet.
Chris Evans has hinted that his multi-movie deal with Marvel Studios is up after these next two Avengers films — which sure makes it seem like his character, Steve Rogers, might die at some point.
The clues to a potential Cap replacement have been floating around the MCU for years. From the moment former Captain America sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) became the Winter Soldier (in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) the speculation has been that Bucky would take on the Captain America mantle. That is what Bucky did in the comic books (back when Captain America was killed — do not worry, he came back) after having his mind rehabilitated and no longer being a brainwashed assassin. Stan signed a nine-film deal with Marvel Studios, and he has only done six that we know of (“Infinity War,” its sequel, the three Captain America movies and “Black Panther.”)
We have already seen a mentally rehabilitated Bucky in a post-credit scene during “Black Panther” so we already know he is one of the good guys now.
A recent tweet from the “Infinity War” directors, the Russo Brothers, showing an illustration of Bucky holding a very damaged Captain America shield added even more speculation Captain America’s time could be up.
The Russos’ tweet could be a red herring, however. Much like that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer featuring John Boyega holding a lightsaber and being dubbed the next great Jedi. Now we know he was just keeping that lightsaber warm for someone else.
Could Bucky be doing the same with Captain America’s shield?
If so, another potential Steve Rogers replacement would be his longtime friend Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who is also in “Infinity War.”
Marvel Comics just recently wrapped up a long run where Sam, a.k.a. the Falcon, took on the mantle of Captain America. Making him the next Cap would be the ultimate fake-out.
Then there is the question of when a new Captain America would appear. In next year’s “Infinity War” sequel, perhaps? Would a new Captain America get his own set of movies in future MCU phases?
If Marvel Studios did kill off Steve Rogers, would they bring him back, just like they did in the comics?
It is a whole lot to think about and one of the many reasons “Infinity War” is shaping up to be Marvel Studios’s next big thing.