Captain America 4's Unexpected Genre Confirmed by Director

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Captain America 4 genre

Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson officially became Captain America in the final episode of 2021's The Falcon and the Winter Solider on Disney+. A year later at San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Feige announced that Mackie would be headlining a solo film on May 3, 2024, titled Captain America: New World Order.

Since the movie is still fairly far away from releasing, nothing has been revealed about what the plot will hold in store. However, the main antagonist was announced at Disney's D23 Expo, and it is Tim Blake Nelson's The Leader, who previously appeared in 2008's The Incredible Hulk.

Back in July, Julius Onah was confirmed as New World Order's director. All of the cast and crew have been fairly quiet when it comes to talking about the fourth installment of the Captain America franchise, but recently, Onah teased what genre the upcoming flick could fall under.

Captain America: New World Order's Genre

Captain America, Anthony Mackie

At Disney's D23 Expo, Captain America: New World Order director Julius Onah spoke with Deadline about the 2024 film.

The director described the Anthony Mackie-led project as a "paranoid thriller," and also added that it would be "a really, really incredible ride." Onah also teased that the movie will challenge Sam Wilson, especially since he is now "at the head of a team:"

"It's going to be a really, really incredible ride. It's a paranoid thriller with Sam (Wilson) at the center of it, and he is now in this position where he is a leader and he has to deal with that challenge of what it means to lead a group of people that he really cares about. For Sam, beforehand, he was part of a team, but now to be at the head of a team is a new set of challenges, so his journey in this film is really about that."

Speaking to at the event, Onah also teased how being inspired by other paranoid thrillers will directly impact the action that audiences will see in the film:

“There’s a lot we’re gonna bring to the table. Again, this is a new set of challenges and a new set of adversaries. So I love classic paranoid thrillers and that’s part of the big inspiration for this film. We want to find action that is grounded, and tactile, and give him new things to do that you haven’t seen in those other films. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say we are planning some really, really exciting things.”

This is the first MCU project to be labeled as a "paranoid thriller." For example, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which many fans believed would have a similar tone to New World Order, is under the genres of "Science-Fiction, Super Hero, Action-Adventure, Buddy."

Some other examples of genres throughout the MCU are as follows:

  • She-Hulk: Science Fiction, Comedy
  • Ms. Marvel: Coming of Age, Comedy
  • Moon Knight: Fantasy
  • Hawkeye: Super Hero, Action-Adventure, Buddy
  • What If…?: Science Fiction, Anthology, Animation
  • Loki: Science Fiction, Fantasy
  • WandaVision: Romance, Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy

How Will New World Order be a Paranoid Thriller?

The first MCU project that comes to mind when hearing "paranoid thriller" is 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier

While it would probably be more appropriate to categorize this movie as a "political thriller," the former still fits just as well. The Winter Soldier was filled with paranoia due to the mystery of who the Winter Soldier was, as well as Hydra's secret infiltration of SHIELD.

The Winter Solider is widely regarded as one of the franchise's best movies, so if New World Order is anything like it, a large group of fans should support it from the get-go.

Onah talking about Sam Wilson's "challenges" when it comes to leading a team also fits the narrative that it will be a "paranoid thriller." Just as the director said, Sam has fought side-by-side with other heroes such as Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, but he has never been tasked with having the mission put completely into his hands, so there may be a few bumps in the road for him as a leader before he gets to where he wants to be.

Overall, it seems as though Onah already knows the direction he wants to take in Captain America: New World Order. He appears to have a vision in mind that he is ready to execute, and when May 3, 2024 rolls around, MCU fans will get to see just what he is talking about with this tease he gave at D23.

Release Date
February 14, 2025
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.