We all knew it was coming. It was set in stone — or at least vibranium — the moment Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) handed Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) the red, white and blue shield in the closing minutes of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
“Every molecule of the storytelling was designed to make that an emotional journey,” executive producer and head writer Malcolm Spellman tells Yahoo Entertainment in a new interview (watch above). “In our minds, we had to convince ourselves that the audience may not know he’s going to become Cap, just so we could actually tell the story the right way. But we wanted to put Sam through immense paces, especially on a personal level and on an identity level, so that by the time he took up the mantle, not only would it feel earned, but the audience might have a sense of the weight, even by the end of this [series], the weight of taking on this mantle is for a Black man.
“It never became easy. It’s not like you get to the end of the [series] and it’s like, ‘OK, cool, we’ve absolved all the sins of our past, I’ll just be Cap now.’ He is doing it in the face of the fact that everything he worries about, is a real truth.”
Spellman says that Sam’s climactic “do better” speech speaks to how difference his Cap will be.
“We wanted to show that Sam’s superpower is, he has a shorthand with struggle. Being a Black man from the South, he has a shorthand with struggle. And if the entire world is struggling, this Cap’s superpower is he has a shorthand with almost everyone on this planet.”
As for that last Captain America, Steve Rogers, Spellman essentially confirmed the producers at least considered a cameo from Evans's aged-up “Old Man Rogers” we saw at Endgame’s end.
“It was discussed, I think,” Spellman says with a nod and a squint before starting to backtrack. “I don’t know. I am officially saying, ‘I don’t know.’” (Instead, the show featured a brief snippet of Evans's Endgame audio at the outset of the first episode.)
And speaking of things Spellman doesn’t know. … The writer-producer made headlines the same day as Falcon’s finale when it was reported he would be writing Captain America 4 (starring Mackie) with Dalan Musson.
No matter how hard we tried, however, Spellman would not utter a word about Cap 4 during our interview. In fact, he wouldn’t even confirm he was writing it. Still, trust us when we say it’s entertaining watching him not say anything at all.
— Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by John Santo.
Watch our Game Changers interview with Malcolm Spellman:
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