The sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger was officially confirmed by Disney in April and with the release date announcement came a brief logline for the film which placed the story of the followup taking place directly after the events of The Avengers where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) would continue working for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. With that announcement alone we could speculate as to what other characters could return and rumors had Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow having a larger role where their relationship and backstory could be explored.
Come time for Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios revealed the official title for the sequel (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) which, in a rather self-explanatory fashion, confirmed that Sebastian Stan’s Bucky character would be back as well. That title doesn’t leave much to the imagination as to what Marvel Comics stories Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay will be drawing ideas from and so it wasn’t surprising to see reports of Anthony Mackie joining the franchise to play Falcon the day after Comic-Con.
Mackie’s involvement have since been confirmed and while attending an event for 10 Years, the 33-year-old actor couldn’t avoid questions about playing the character of Sam Wilson aka Falcon. Fans will be happy to hear that despite Mackie being a busy boy recently with key roles in a large amount of high profile films, he’ll be dedicating all of his time going forward to prepare to fight the good fight as an ally of Captain America and a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. for when filming on Captain America 2 begins next March.
“He’s known for his physique. He’s described as 6’3″, 245 pounds, so starting Monday, for the next five months until we start shooting, I’m going back to high-school workouts and start doing two-a-days, so I get up to 230 pounds. I’m going to try not to get a job between now and then, so I can really focus on this. Because Chris Evans is in such good shape! I’m just a dude he dragged into the lab that he injected with some shit, but I got to stand next to him. So we shall see!”
In reality Mackie stands 5’10″ opposite 6′ Chris Evans. In the comics, Sam Wilson earned his unique ability to link with his companion falcon thanks to the Red Skull using the Tesseract (Cosmic Cube) on him. His ability to fly comes via a harness he wears, designed by Black Panther. If what Mackie says jokingly about being injected a lab is true, Falcon’s origins may be altered for the film adaptation to potentially make him part of a new super soldier program. With the Tesseract being taken back to Asgard by Thor at the end of The Avengers and Black Panther seemingly (read: sadly) becoming a less likely character to get his own film, that may be a necessity. That plot point would also fall in line with rumors that General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (William Hurt) from The Incredible Hulk could return.
As for stepping into the shoes of the first African-American superhero (Black Panther was introduced into comics three years earlier but wasn’t American), Mackie couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity.
“It’s amazing. The biggest part of it is, I think kids for so long have been looking for a role model or someone to look up to. I feel like this being truly the first African American superhero, being introduced in this movie and in this way, I feel like it’s going to be great.”