The Marvels director Nia DaCosta, who recently impressed audiences with her remake of horror classic Candyman, has an interesting take on Captain America that may make for a new way into the MCU.
In a recent interview with Inverse, the up-and-coming filmmaker shared parts of her process and hinted at what fans can expect out of The Marvels. But perhaps the most surprising aspect was her response to the Snap and thoughts about where blame for it lies.
Nia DaCosta Vs. Captain America
As director Nia DaCosta responded when asked about how superheroes can become unwilling martyrs:
“Something I like to say a bit flippantly about Captain America is that the Snap is all his fault because he was trying to do his best; trying to do the right thing. There is a world in which he’s a villain because, at the end of the day, he should have just sacrificed Vision. He chose one robot’s life, albeit a sentient one, over literally the entire universe,” Nia DaCosta explained. “There’s a sort of anti-hero in that if you want to look at it through that lens.”
“People would say I’m crazy for thinking that way, but there’s something connected to the journey of the anti-hero and the hero. The hero’s pain is something that spurs them to martyr themselves, and an anti-hero’s pain is a thing that kind of starts their journey as opposed to ending it.”
Nia DaCosta’s wise words bring a possibility for the future of the MCU to mind. While Steve Rogers is off the table for the time being, John Walker and Sam Wilson are both present in the current iteration of the MCU. This means Captain America will return, but with a different flavor.
While Sam is the official Captain America after Falcon and the Winter Soldier and is undoubtedly carrying on Steve’s legacy, John’s version of the Star-Spangled Avenger could turn into the next big villain after teaming up with Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. This would be a twisted variant of Steve’s own origin, making Walker a truly dark reflection of him – and a peek into what happens when single lives aren’t spared.
The MCU has loved to use the dark mirror trope with its villains – that is, having bad guys who are reflections of the heroes themselves. It is common in the comics, but allowing it to do so shows the more in-depth exploration of who the hero really is, and what makes them good. There is added value in seeing that they were able to avoid a fate that they may or may not deserve.
Watching Walker as he used the serum and brutally murdered Nico, one of the Flag-Smashers, was like watching an alt-scenario of the Captain America story play out. He clearly fails at being the “good man.” It makes the dark mirror trope even more literal because this isn’t another character, but an actual Captain America who has gone rogue.
Captain America 4 could be in the works with Anthony Mackie as Captain America, but that won’t stop John Walker from trying to steal that title from him. We will have to wait and see if the MCU will continue this story, but for now, Nia DaCosta has certainly given fans some food for thought. Her upcoming film The Marvels is set to release February 17, 2023.