'Captain America 4' In Development With 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' Head Writer Malcolm Spellman Co-Writing The Script

The Captain America film franchise is continuing at Marvel Studios.

In the wake of today's season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, word has come out that head writer Malcolm Spellman and staff writer Dalan Musson are writing the screenplay for Captain America 4, which is expected to continue the story of Anthony Mackie's character, Sam Wilson, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Captain America 4 is in the works at Marvel Studios, but no director or cast has been announced yet. It's expected that Mackie, who now officially wields the shield as the MCU's Captain America, will take the lead in the new project, but it's unclear whether any other previous Captains America – including Carl Lumbly's Isaiah Bradley or Chris Evans' elderly, post-Endgame Steve Rogers – will show up in any capacity.

Spellman created The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and was responsible for the series grappling with serious, real-world issues like race in America and what happens when state-sanctioned authority figures cross a line and take a life without justification. Musson wrote the fifth episode of the show, which featured Sam Wilson having a heart-to-heart with Bradley about what it takes for a Black man to wear the stars and stripes. While the show itself was often messy, I give Spellman credit for convincing Marvel to have these conversations in ways it hadn't previously made room for, and I suspect the movie won't shy away from tough subject matter, either.

Spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season finale ahead.

With Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) established as the Power Broker, and Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the mysterious Nick Fury-style character, seemingly in the market to create her own team of villains, it's clear that a conflict is brewing which will involve some big government secrets spilling out and ending up in the wrong hands. Naturally, viewers speculated that these might be teases for a possible second season of this show, or upcoming Disney+ shows like Armor Wars (or, if Sharon is a Skrull, maybe even Secret Invasion). But now it's possible that those dominos were set up specifically for Captain America 4.

One thing is for sure: even though the finale ended with the title card Captain America and the Winter Soldier, don't expect this movie to be made specifically for Disney+. I would bet everything I have that Marvel is going to give this a big theatrical release, if for no other reason than the optics would be absolutely abysmal if they were to relegate the first Captain America movie to star a Black man to a streaming service.