The MCU has dominated the Hollywood world for the past decade and a half in no small part due to its phenomenal plethora of characters that audiences all over the world can route for. From heroes like Iron Man and Thor to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, the MCU has introduced hundreds of Marvel Comic characters to the big screen — and one of the most beloved is Captain America. One of the original six Avengers and helping pioneer what would become the largest cinematic universe in history, Captain America has become not just a Hollywood staple but a literal cultural icon of America, despite the fact that he’s fictional.
While the MCU brought a conclusive end to Steve Roger’s story as the infamous Cap during Avengers: Endgame, it left a large void in the hearts of MCU fans. After all, Steve Rogers was the heart and soul of the entire Avengers squad, and despite Chris Evans moving on from the part, the character had become too important (a symbol, really) for the MCU to permanently part ways. That’s why when Sam Wilson finally took up the shield in the final episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, MCU fans rejoiced to see a worthy hero take up the mantle that Steve Rogers had bestowed upon him. However, despite the MCU confirming that a Captain America 4 is in the works, it seems as though they missed a real opportunity by not having a Captain America 4th of July special to add to their list of debuting projects this year.
Multiple Holiday Specials
With the first MCU holiday series arriving at the end of last year (Hawkeye), Kevin Feige and the Marvel gang decided to double-down on their investment in holiday specials by choosing to debut not just one but two during the coming year. The first will be Werewolf by Night, which will be airing on Disney+ on Halloween night and will have the heavy task of (allegedly) introducing werewolves and vampires into the MCU and starring a brand-new character.
Then MCU fans will be treated to a much-needed dose of interstellar shenanigans when the Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas special arrives in December. Not much is known about the plot details yet. However, the events will take place in between Thor 4 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. It seems as though the MCU could have really capitalized on a 4th of July Captain America special. It makes thematic sense and would have allowed the studio to revisit Sam Wilson as the new Cap without throwing him right into a new movie.
Sam Wilson as the New Captain America
Speaking of the beloved winged hero (and his awesome new Captain America suit), it would’ve been a good idea for the MCU to revisit Anthony Mackie/Sam Wilson taking over the shield. The main reason is that Captain America 4 will be a movie, obviously acting as a sequel to the prior three Captain America films despite starring a brand-new Cap.
While the MCU and Disney+ have a large surplus of loyal fans who religiously wait for every new piece of MCU information to break on the Internet, there are still a large number of movie fans who may have seen the previous Captain America films — and even Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame — but didn’t watch The Falcon and The Winter Solider. This means they may not know that Sam Wilson has taken up the shield and might mistakenly think that Chris Evans has returned. A quick one-hour 4th of July special introducing Sam as Cap (since he barely had the shield for one episode) could have potentially helped some future confused moviegoers.
Past 4th of July Weekend Success
It doesn’t just make thematic sense for the MCU to release a Captain America 4th of July special; it also makes statistical sense. Since 2017 (other than 2020), the MCU has released a project every 4th of July weekend (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Black Widow). They’re continuing that pattern by debuting Thor 4 during this coming 4th of July weekend. However, rather than waste the weekend debuting another Thor movie, it would have made sense to debut a Captain America special instead and push Thor’s debut back to the end of July rather than the beginning.
This way, the MCU could have still capitalized on the 4th of July weekend while also using a big-name character in Thor to sell tickets during a time when not many other big-name movies are being released. It would’ve closed the gap between MCU projects this year, as it seems the next MCU content fans will get after Thor 4 won’t be until August or even September when She-Hulk is rumored to air. However, it should be noted that a Captain America 4th of July special for next year isn’t out of the cards. The weekend is currently vacant of any future MCU projects, with the closest movie being Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, set to debut on July 28, 2023.