With just a single, relaxed, behind-the-scenes pic posted on Instagram by Anthony Mackie, everything changes for Captain America’s next big-screen MCU outing. Formerly known as New World Order, the fourth Cap movie will now proudly bear the title Brave New World, as shown on the back of the chairs in Mackie’s on-set snap. At first glance it’s a superficial change, but it’s probably a sensible idea to move away from a phrase thrown around by George Bush Sr in the ‘90s and embrace something a little more Shakespearean.
‘O brave new world, that has such people in’t.’ So says Miranda in The Tempest. She was, obviously enough, not talking about the cast of Cap 4, but if she had been, she wouldn’t have been wrong. As Mackie’s photo attests, the film includes the not inconsiderable presence of Harrison Ford as General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (stepping into the shoes of the late William Hurt). Looks like he’s enjoying Mackie’s company so far. We also know that Liv Tyler will be back as Thunderbolt’s daughter Betty, and Tim Blake Nelson is returning as Samuel Sterns – both finally reprising their roles from 2006’s The Incredible Hulk.
The phrase also evokes dystopian vibes, too, thanks to Aldous Huxley’s novel – which is almost certainly not accidental. Brave New World will follow the events of The Falcon And The Winter Solider, which saw Mackie’s Sam Wilson wrangling with whether he actually wants the moniker, the shield, and the responsibility bequeathed to him by Chris Evans' Steve Rogers at the end of Avengers: Endgame. That series included attempts to manufacture a government-approved Captain America (Wyatt Russell’s John Walker) and sidekick (Lemar Hoskins’ Battlestar), and the film that follows Brave New World in the MCU Phase 5 is Thunderbolts: essentially the Marvel equivalent of the Suicide Squad. Is a new generation of Avengers about to face a villainous version of itself?
Also in Brave New World’s cast are Danny Ramirez as Falcon's Joaquin Torres, who looks set to inherit the Falcon role from Wilson, and Carl Lumbly as the show's Isaiah Bradley, a past recipient of the Super Soldier serum who was mistreated by the US government. Julius Onah is directing from a script by Falcon head writer Malcolm Spellman and colleague Dalan Musson.
Captain America: Brave New World will be in cinemas from 3 May 2024.