Image: Marvel Studios

Since 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie has popped up as former pilot (and Steve’s ever reliable bestie) Sam Wilson. Last we saw Sam, he’d finally accepted his role as the new Captain America in The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, which was all the way back in 2021.

Next year, Sam will headline his first solo film in Captain America: Brave New World, which follows on from that miniseries. Talking to Radio Times, the actor acknowledged he was fond of working on that show, which paired him with Sebastian Stan’s ex-cyborg assassin Bucky Barnes. “I was actually excited to do a second season, just so me and Sebastian can get paid to hang out,” he stated. “Because it’s like me, him and Daniel Brühl [as Zemo]. It’s kind of like the perfect storm of happiness. […] Anything I can do to hang out with a dancing Daniel Brühl makes me very happy.”

Brave New World’s full cast hasn’t been officially revealed, but Mackie confirmed neither Bucky or Zemo will be popping up here. (Bucky will be featured in Thunderbolts while Zemo’s next appearance is a big question mark.) Since FalconSoldier is a fairly key part of Sam’s evolution, he’s admitted headlining a movie without those two doesn’t entirely feel the same. “When they decided to go back to the movies, it is what it is, but I don’t have my friends anymore. It kind of dampens it a little bit.”

Major supporting characters often pop in and out of the MCU a somewhat regular cadence—see Hawkeye and Jane Foster as two of many examples. There are some, though, who feel like they should be around more often than they are, and their absence often highlights how much a particular entry isn’t entirely working. There’ll be some familiar faces in Brave New World (like Danny Ramirez’s Joaquin Torres), but given how FalconSoldier ended with the promise of Sam and Bucky as a dynamic duo, it’s a bit of a shame we won’t get to see that play out on the big screen.

Captain America: Brave New World is expected to hit theaters on February 14, 2025.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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