When the Captain America franchise returns to the MCU, it’s going to do so with a new hero. Steve Rogers is an old man who’s either dead, living on the Moon, or playing shuffleboard in Fort Myers. Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson is now the United States’ signature superhero, the one and only Captain America. But that isn’t the only change the film will deliver. Harrison Ford is stepping into the role of Thaddeus Ross after the passing of William Hurt. We don’t expect any version of ole Thunderbolt to get along with a man of morals like Sam. But the actors who play the characters certainly seem to like one another. They’re having a whole lot of fun together in the first official behind-the-scenes image from the film, which Mackie and Marvel Studios shared to announce that Captain America 4 now has a new title.
Sorry fans of late ’90s WCW. Once again, the New World Order has fallen. Apparently, that Captain America title was not “too sweet” for Marvel. But today is a big day for readers of Aldous Huxley’s classic dystopian novel, as it now serves as the inspiration for the name of the next Captain America installment.
It’s unclear if the Captain America 4 title change is simply a legal matter or if it better reflects the story we’re going to see. The phrase “New World Order” also has some murkier roots, so it’s probably best to see it go. There is a Marvel Comics issue titled Secret Empire: Brave New World, but it seems to largely feature Namor. So it doesn’t really add much insight to the equation.
What is clear, though, is how much Mackie and Ford are enjoying working together in the movie’s first official image.
What are they talking about? On Instagram, Mackie wrote, “When Harrison Ford tells you how kicking ass should look, you listen! LoL… Thanks for the on-set wisdom and laughs my friend! Can’t wait to do it again.” (The film’s production is currently on hiatus.)
Anthony Mackie is basically us if we got to hang out with Harrison Ford.
There are some other takeaways from this seemingly innocuous picture, though. And we don’t just mean that the set chairs already have the new title on them. We mean, like how Ford isn’t sporting Ross’ mustache here. Is that how he’ll appear in the film, or is this just a moment when he didn’t have it glued on/shaved it off? And what exactly are we seeing on the monitor? It’s hard to tell at a squint, but you never know when a really good Easter egg is right in front of you. Could it be the re-emergence of Sam’s original Captain America suit?
Whatever’s going on, we’re thrilled to see Mackie’s Captain America current suit looks so good. (Especially compared to the aforementioned one we saw him wearing on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.)
Clearly, a Brave New World for Captain America means more than a title change; it means better gear when the movie comes to theaters on May 3, 2024.