Marvel is fresh off a successful appearance at Comic-Con 2012, where the studio premiered several mouth-watering items for its geek fanbase. That included: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man test footage, an Iron Man 3 sizzle reel, confirmation on a Guardians of the Galaxy movie arriving in 2014, and new titles for its sequels, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Fans has been speculating that Captain America 2 would feature a Winter Soldier storyline for quite some time, going back to when it was announced that Sebastian Stan had signed a multi-picture deal with Marvel to portray Steve Rogers’ brother-in-arms Bucky Barnes (who became the aforementioned brain-washed, cybernetic super assassin, in “Captain America” vol. 5, #1, released in 2005).
Wilson was introduced as an unnamed social worker in Harlem (during the 1960s), who was recruited by the Red Skull under false pretense. The latter then used the Cosmic Cube to give Wilson psychic powers, which allowed him to communicate telepathically with birds (and thus, control them). Wilson eventually discovered the truth about who the villain and his allies were, and escaped. Shortly thereafter, he encountered Steve Rogers, who convinced Wilson to take on a superhero persona: Falcon, a crime-fighter whose strength is enhanced by his suit (which also allows him to fly).
Falcon would go on to have several adventures with Captain America in the 1970s, when Steve Englehart retconned the character’s backstory so that he’d spent some time living as a gangster called Snap, following the murder of his parents (Wilson’s memories were revealed to have been altered by Red Skull, via the Cosmic Cube). The superhero was also briefly an Avenger during the late ’70s and late ’90s, and appeared in a handful of Captain America comic storylines in the early 2000s (he’s now a recurring player in the regular CA series, which began with #600 in 2009).
Details are being kept under wraps, with regards to what elements from Falcon’s comic history will be retained for the Captain America sequel. The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is said to take place primarily in the present-day, as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) carries out missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. Moreover, recent rumors have suggested the film will be heavily oriented around the organization and its employees (including, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)). Hence, it’s entirely possible that Sam Wilson will already be a S.H.I.E.L.D. employee, at the beginning of Captain America 2.
There’s also been unsubstantiated talk about how directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) are going to structure The Winter Soldier as a grounded, globe-trotting espionage thriller. Such a maneuver could set the stage for Cap and his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. employees (Black Widow, Hawkeye, and perhaps Falcon) to encounter the eponymous villain, working for a foreign enemy – and thus, force Steve Rogers to reconcile his past in a most unexpected (and painful) way, with the knowledge that his onetime friend has become a bitter foe.
Mackie, for his part, has seen his star rise rapidly these past three years, following his turns in The Hurt Locker, Notorious, Adjustment Bureau, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (among other films). He doesn’t look to lose momentum anytime soon either, with roles in this fall’s Gangster Squad and Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain on the horizon, in addition to Captain America 2.
The actor will (hopefully) get a healthy amount of screen time while playing Falcon in Captain America 2 – and future installments – seeing how it does take him out of the running as a contender to portray Black Panther in Marvel’s shared movie universe.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives in U.S. theaters on April 4th, 2014.