The new Captain America is aware of the backlash against him.
Wyatt Russell is speaking on how the fans have been more than slightly rough about his John Walker becoming the new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and actually feels complimented at stirring up such reactions.
The new Captain
The second episode of the series expands on John Walker, chosen as the new Captain America. A veteran soldier, Walker, is shown able to use the famous shield and truly wants to do his best as the new Star-Spangled Hero.
In a meeting with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Walker emphasizes he knows he can never be Steve Rogers and is simply trying to be the Captain America only he can be.
There has been a backlash of fans upset over how Sam had given up the shield to the Smithsonian and let the Captain America legacy retire only for the government to give the shield to a white man. Russell talked to Comic Book about the part and taking on the pressure of being a new Cap.
“It’s kind of part of the character and it was part of the draw, was being able to play someone like that and try to do it convincingly. But it was fun to be able to be set up as that character. Normally everyone’s always trying to make you likable, or more vulnerable, or whatever it is. And this was a different thing for me to be able to do. And I had a blast doing it. Anything is good. Any reaction, I’ll take it.
In the comics, Walker gets out of control as Cap to fight Steve for the role. He then becomes U.S. Agent while still boasting a huge chip on his shoulder that clashes with other heroes.
The show has played on the differences between Walker and Rogers. The two men are from entirely different eras and thus have different views of America while Walker lacks the Super-Soldier Serum (as shown in his rough fight with the Serum-powered Flag Smashers).
One thing the same is that Russell, like Walker, has never actually met his predecessor and uses that to craft his own persona as Cap.
“No, I’ve never met [Chris Evans]. I’ve never talked to him. He does not feel like my brother. But I’ve heard great things about him and I know he’s a very nice person and is doing lots of great things with the career that he made with his Captain America character. And now he’s off doing bigger and better things. So I think it’s pretty cool being able to step into the Marvel Universe as a new person, taking on whatever that ends up being. It’s sort of up to you guys. That’s kind of what’s fun about the Marvel Universe, is it’s really up to the fans. It’s not up to me. I’m just here to be a Marvel punching bag for now.”
Russell did share to Jimmy Kimmel how he had requested one of Chris Evan’s old Cap suits to wear to get a feel for the part. He also joked, “So when I came on set, I was like, ‘What does that mean? Who’s that person? How do they fit in?’ And finally, Sebastian [Stan] was like, ‘Dude, stop asking questions. You’re going to get more confused. If you get answers, it’s going to be worse.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier writers are naturally tight-lipped on Walker’s future on the series as he tries to fight the Flag-Smasher terrorists. However, Russell is prepared to face the fan heat no matter what and continue as the new Captain America.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streaming new episodes every Friday on Disney+.