Anthony Mackie Reveals When Exactly Sam Decided To Be Captain America

Sam’s decision to be Captain America was solidified during his final heart-to-heart talk with Bucky in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. After Steve Rogers’ finished his final mission to bring back all the Infinity Stones used in the time heist, he returned to the prime MCU timeline for the last time to choose his successor. He chose his trusted friend and ally Sam as the next Star-Spangled Avenger before Old Man Steve disappeared again.

While Falcon took the shield with him, he ultimately decided to give it up in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiere. This paved the way for the government to hand it to John Walker who briefly inhabited the role. Sam wasn’t on board with the new Captain America, but he was still hesitant about the idea of assuming his rightful place as the next version of the hero. It didn’t help that he learned what happened to the first Black Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, whose history was kept from the public. Ultimately, he came to terms with him becoming the next wielder of the shield.

Related: Captain America & The Winter Soldier: Why Bucky’s Name Didn’t Change

When asked what changed his mind about becoming Captain America in a new interview with USA Today, Anthony Mackie said that the conversation Sam had with Bucky in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier penultimate episode motivated this turn. The actor added that the former Winter Soldier acknowledging his personal struggles was big for his character.

It was the training scene with Bucky, when they were throwing the shield. America struggles with acknowledgement, specifically acknowledgement for Black Americans and their contributions to what this country has become. It meant a lot to Sam just simply for Bucky to say, “I never considered what it would mean for a Black man to become Captain America.” That was the huge turning point for Sam. It was a cathartic experience, and his ability to release that pain and frustration in that moment turned that character completely on his head and moved him in the direction of accepting the idea of being Captain America.

Throughout The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s run, Sam and Bucky have had different conversations, but the one in episode 5, as casual as the setting, was their most important one. It’s worth noting that when the show began, Bucky was purposefully evading Sam’s effort to reach out; it was only when Walker debuted as the new Captain America that he finally sought him out. From there, the pair stuck with each other, but Bucky continued to chastise Sam for his decision to give up the shield. Bucky eventually saw where Sam was coming from when he refused the superhero which in turn helped Falcon realize that he finally has an ally who truly understands, encouraging him to be the Star-Spangled Avenger.

Now, as he becomes Captain America, Sam still has a long future ahead of him in the MCU. After The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he properly earned to be the next version of the Avengers’ leader after Steve’s disappearance. But, as Bucky helped him throughout this heroic journey, expect that he will do the same for the former HYDRA assassin as he continues to work on moving on from his Winter Soldier persona in the inevitable second season of the Disney+ show.

More: How Much More Powerful Sam’s Vibranium Captain America Suit Makes Him

Source: USA Today

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