*Potential Captain America: The Winter Soldier spoilers ahead* Does anyone else think this:
Is a direct response to Chris Evans statements that he wants out of his Captain America role after Avengers 3?
Not just that, to a lesser extent the whole "Thor is a woman now" thing too, but mostly Falcon as the new Cap. Both moves have been heavily publicized, which felt to me like a way of gearing up the public, even those who don't read comics, to prepare for the idea that the heroes you've been watching might not be the same people forever. It's a good way to ease the movie going public into the whole thing, instead of, y'know, killing Steve Rogers off and suddenly everyone loses their minds, now they can call back to something they heard about on Colbert four years ago (when they already cared about Captain America because of the movies) and say "oh, right, that can totally happen."
But the Falcon-to-Cap switch feels even more, for lack of a better word, calculated than that to me, because not only is Chris Evans seeming like the most likely first major actor loss for Marvel (I refuse to entertain the notion that RDJ won't be Tony Stark until the end of time), but Anthony Mackie's version of Falcon in Winter Soldier was not only stellar (seriously craving a Falcon movie, that man has a lot of charisma), but well received by the public, and as the public eye moves more and more toward Marvel to actually take the leap and make a blockbuster superhero movie starring a woman or/and not-white-person, I have to wonder whether they're more specifically trying to get the public acclimated to the idea that Captain America might look a little bit different on the big screen sometime in the next decade or so. Better to get as much of the ugliness out of the way now, rather than when the more high-profile movies make the leap, right?
And yes, I understand that the most popular fan theory right now is that Bucky is Marvel's back-up plan should Evans leave, I've been told that has some basis in the comics, and they've already set groundwork for a larger Bucky story with him as the titular character in Winter Soldier. That's definitely a possibility, in fact, I'd even say it's pretty likely. And, honestly, part of this might just be me projecting what I'd like to see onto reality, because I really liked Mackie in the recent film, and thought the titular character, the Winter Soldier, was probably its weakest aspect.
Still, the timing is enough to make me wonder whether there might be something slightly crazy in the future for the MCU.