According to Frank Grillo, Mr. Crossbones himself, the next person to pick up the mantle of Captain America could be African-American or a woman. During an interview with Larry King Now, according to CBR, Grillo was asked if he knew who was in the running to next play Captain America. This is especially going to be a big deal, since Chris Evans has suggested he will exit his role as Steve Rogers with 2019’s Avengers 4.
“I don’t know,” he said during the interview, “but there’ve been rumors that [the next] Captain America could be African-American. It could be a woman. You know? So they’re looking.”
Now there are two characters who are obvious picks to take over the role of Captain America, and they are Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, and Sam Wilson a.k.a., Falcon, as both do that at different points in the comics. While Bucky is a white dude, Sam Wilson is not, and the actor playing Sam (Anthony Mackie) has said before that he would like to eventually become Cap.
However, Mackie is currently slated to be the lead in the upcoming season of Altered Carbon, and his current contract with Marvel, according to Den of Geek, has him slated for six movies. Right now, he’s at five, with the next Avengers movie being six. Sebastian Stan, in comparison, signed a nine-film-contract. Oh, sweet child, what is you doing?
It’s possible that they could bring in the character of America Chavez/Miss America and just put the mantle to rest, rather than just putting some poor African-American actor or female actor in a role where they will just be compared to Chris Evans for all of time.
Inherently, I’m not opposed to race-bending, and Marvel does have a long history of legacy characters, so it makes to bring in new faces; the brand allows for that. Still, inclusion and diversity should be more thoughtful than just “Let’s put a black person in the role!” Who Captain America is meaningful to people, both in real life and within the universe. For a person of color, especially an African-American of slave descent or a Native actor would be a really huge statement, and the writers would need to not be afraid of exploring the context of what occupying that role and identity would mean.
At this point, if they do want to give someone the Cap role, I say extend Anthony Mackie’s contract. His character is the one who was meant to carry on that role anyway. It’ll make sense; he and Steve have that bond, and it’ll allow Steve’s two boyfriends to carry on his legacy after he’s gone. Don’t cast for a gimmick; cast for the heart of the character, because that is what will carry the role.
(via CBR, image: Marvel Entertainment)
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