MCU

Falcon and the Winter Soldier leak fulfills a key Endgame moment

Anthony Mackie may be trading in his wings for a shield.

Filming on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has reportedly wrapped. The Disney+ series was originally due to premiere in August, but the global pandemic and production shutdowns delayed the release date. While it’s unclear when the show will finally head to streaming, a new leak reveals how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will follow through on a pivotal moment from Avengers: Endgame.

At the end of Endgame, an old Steve Rogers — who reappeared after time-traveling back to the past to live out his days with his WWII-era flame Peggy Carter — bestowed Sam Wilson with his Vibranium shield. The moment effectively set up Sam’s future turn as Captain America, but it won't be as easy as that.

Previous leaks from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier suggest the U.S. government will give the title (and the shield) to another Marvel character, U.S. Agent, instead. Set photos also confirmed that Sam Wilson is wearing an upgraded Falcon costume, and not Cap's classic red-white-and-blue gear.

Sam is gifted Captain America's shield.Marvel

Stuntman Aaron Toney, who has doubled for Anthony Mackie since the actor’s debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hinted on Instagram that his days dressing up as Falcon were over now that the Disney+ series had wrapped. He described the end of filming as his “last jet back winged adventure.”

“To the rest of the amazing squad. I love you. Thank you for being amazing, thoughtful individuals for this old man's last jet back winged adventure. And thank you to the one and only [Anthony Mackie], I love you brother. Thank you MCU for allowing me to start and finish as “The Falcon” 2014 - 2020.”

Of course, the news was alarming because it can be construed as the end of Falcon’s run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe entirely. However, Toney retiring Falcon may actually confirm that Sam will be shedding his wings as the superhero to finally become Captain America.

Currently, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier feels a lot like a bridge between the two versions of the character. Perhaps Sam still needs to go on one more journey before he’s fully ready to carry the shield and the weight of its responsibility.

Sam's new Falcon costume is sleek, but we're still waiting for him to wear Cap's costume.Marvel

We know there will be a copycat version of Captain America (aka, U.S. Agent) in the Disney+ series and it could be that he was also a part of the supersoldier serum program that gave Steve his enhanced abilities. In the first trailer, Sam was seen throwing Cap’s shield, seemingly angry about something we’re not yet privy to. Considering that U.S. Agent might be working with the government, it’s possible Sam was stripped of his title because he was unwilling to follow orders.

That said, claiming Cap’s mantle seems like the next natural step in Sam’s journey and Toney hanging up Falcon’s suit may simply mean he’ll be suiting up in the star-spangled uniform for the next big adventure. It’s either that or Toney is leaving the MCU behind for good (a sad thought indeed). Whatever the case may be, Sam could suit up as Captain America before the credits roll on the Disney+ series. It would certainly be a well-earned moment.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is tentatively set to premiere in 2021 on Disney+.