Let’s just get this out of the way first. At the end of “Avengers: Endgame,” Captain America passes the shield to his best friend (well, one of his BFFs because Steve Rogers famously has two superheroes by his side at all times) Sam Wilson, aka Falcon. The idea being that Falcon would take up the mantle of Captain America as Old Man Steve lives out the rest of his days staring at the sun on a bench somewhere. So, it’s like 99.9% assured that at the end of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” TV series, Sam Wilson will be Captain America. But when you hear Anthony Mackie talk about it, it’s not a guarantee.

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Speaking on the Jess Cagle Show on SiriusXM, Mackie was asked if he’s going to pick up the shield and become the new Cap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during the upcoming ‘Falcon’ spinoff series. And though everyone seems to think it’s inevitable, Mackie doesn’t want people to just assume it’s going to happen.

“We don’t know that yet,” teased Mackie. “The idea of the show, basically. At the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ Cap retired and asked me to take up the shield. But at no point did I agree to or say that I would be Captain America. So, the show walks the line of ‘Who’s gonna take up the shield and who’s gonna be Captain America, if Steve [Rogers] isn’t coming back?’

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Of course, we all know from the bits and pieces we know about “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” that Wyatt Russell’s USAgent character is likely going to be given the shield first as the government’s choice for Captain America 2.0. But any fan of the comics knows that’s not really going to last long. And it sounds as if the crisis of faith that Falcon goes through, deciding whether or not he deserves the shield, is really going to be the crux of the series.

So, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” sounds like it’s going to be a fight for the soul of America, by symbolically featuring various folks fighting for the red, white, and blue shield. Will it be the government crony? Or will it be the man that Steve Rogers picked as his successor? We’ll find out when the series launches in March on Disney+.