After Avengers: Endgame, it looked like Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) would become the new Captain America. But no so fast! The new Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier reveals that things aren’t so cut and dry, and instead, the new Cap in town is John Walker, played by Wyatt Russell. In the comics, Walker is a character known as U.S. Agent, but things are playing out a bit differently in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. And according to Russell, some Captain America fans are going to be put off by what’s in store.
Speaking with USA Today, Russell says of his role as the new Captain America: “People are probably going to hate it, and some people are going to love it.” To be fair, that statement pretty much sums up fandom as a whole these days – people tend to think of this stuff as either the best thing ever, or the worst. But unlikability is built into the Walker character, since he’s not what fans have come to expect from Cap. Russell’s Walker is a Marine who has more or less been ordered to be the new Captain America.
“I don’t think there’s really been many MCU characters who’ve had quite the dilemma he’s had in terms of trying to fit into this sort of moralistic superhero world. He’s been thrust into this role as Captain America and he’s going to do it his way, and he wants to do it right,” Russell says. “But his way is a very specific way that he has learned through being basically a trained human hunter. I mean, that’s what Marines are. They’re not Steve Rogers, they’re not the same. They’re not like Boy Scouts anymore. They’re a little bit more gnarly. ”
While Chris Evans’s take on Captain America was that of a somewhat nerdy (but really muscular) guy always ready to do the right thing, Walker exists in a bit of a grey area. “There’s always an element of reality (in the show) where it’s like, well, sometimes you need that guy, and it’s not always pretty,” Russell says. “It’s fun to play those characters because they’re always at odds with themselves. They’re always at odds with their own abilities and with their own moral compass. They know what is right, kind of, but they also want to win and they battle with that.”
As for stepping into the new Captain America costume, Russell described the experience as: “Hot. Very difficult. Painful,” adding: “My shoulders kinda got screwed up and things started to hurt just because of the position that the suit would put you in all day.” And I think we can all relate to that – who among us hasn’t felt awkward and uncomfortable in the new Captain America costume the government has forced us to wear?
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