Isaiah Bradley’s story in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier makes the best choice for Captain America 4’s villain – the Grand Director – unlikely.
The story that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delivered for Carl Lumbly’s Isaiah Bradley makes the best choice for Captain America 4’s villain unlikely. The character in question is the Grand Director, a lesser-known Marvel Comics villain who shares the same face as Steve Rogers and an old opponent of Captain America.
Many thought that the Captain America franchise was over, especially since Chris Evans exited the MCU and Steve Rogers handed over the shield to Sam Wilson. Though it was clear he would have a successor, it looked like the MCU’s new Captain America would have his story told on Disney+ instead. However, it appears that a fourth Captain America movie may be in the pipeline, after all. Following the release of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale, it was reported that Captain America 4 is happening with the series’ showrunner, Malcolm Spellman, returning to pen the script. However, this news has yet to be officially confirmed by Marvel.
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If the movie really is in the works, then it’s worth discussing which character from the comics would be chosen as the main antagonist. One option is the Grand Director aka William Burnside, the fourth Captain America in Marvel Comics. As a former hero who once served as the nation’s symbol, he’d undoubtedly be a unique addition to the MCU. Fans have long been interested in seeing him adapted to the MCU, which was partly why he was the subject of various rumors about the second and third Captain America movies. The problem with him, though, is that his story can’t pack the same emotional punch that it would have had if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hadn’t used Isaiah Bradley.
Isaiah Bradley and the Grand Director are two totally different characters, but they’re based on similar concepts. Back in the 1950s, Marvel published stories about Captain America fighting communists in the United States, but this later conflicted with the 1960s comic The Avengers #4, which established that Steve had been on ice since World War II. Marvel fixed this plot hole in the 1970s by revealing that the ‘50s Captain America was an idealistic teacher who used a new version of the super soldier serum and plastic surgery to become not only the new Captain America but the new Steve Rogers as well. Unfortunately, the serum had negative effects on his mind and caused him to go insane. As a result, the government put him in suspended animation. When he awoke, he became caught in a battle with the original Captain America. Later on, he was brainwashed and transformed into the evil Grand Director.
Despite his status as a villain, Burnside was often depicted as a sympathetic figure, not unlike Isaiah Bradley in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Steve empathized with Burnside, who had been abandoned by the people who made him into who he was. Steve’s great disappointment and shock upon discovering the existence of this secret Captain America was quite similar to the feeling that Sam had when he first heard Isaiah’s story.
Since Marvel went in that direction with Sam and Isaiah, it may seek to avoid repeating this twist. After all, it wouldn’t really be considered a surprising reveal anymore. Because of Isaiah, Sam already knows about the government’s efforts to replace Captain America with more super soldiers. Plus, he knows through Isaiah that they were left behind and forgotten. So while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did set up the Grand Director, it also lowered his chances of appearing in Captain America 4.
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- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
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