With Iron Man 3 shooting additional extra scenes in India, Thor: The Dark World completing principal photography, and Guardians of the Galaxy beginning production this summer, the other film on the 2013 Marvel Studios to-do list is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The sequel to The First Avenger begins shooting this April and joining the franchise in the role of Sam Wilson AKA Falcon is Anthony Mackie.
With a plethora of roles in major theatrical releases in the last two-three years, the most recent of which is Gangster Squad, Mackie has seen more press than any other Marvel Studios actor lately, and despite the onslaught of Captain America related questions, he's remaining rightfully coy, with a good sense of humor to deflect the attention. Most recently, we've seen him dance around questions regarding Falcon's superhero costume, and last week he had more inquiries to deal with.
Chatting with Capone of Ain't It Cool News during a post-screening Q&A in Chicago for Gangster Squad, Anthony Mackie answered (read: dodged) a few questions about the character he'll be playing in Captain America 2, beginning with a confirmation of Falcon's basic traits:
"I will have wings. I will be able to fly. I will be a superhero and fight people, namely The Winter Soldier."
By "superhero," Mackie is again hinting that his character will indeed, have superpowers, unlike his headlining S.H.I.E.L.D. counterparts, Black Widow and Hawkeye. In an interview three months ago discussing his workout routine and goal of hitting 230 pounds, he said "I’m just a dude [Captain America] dragged into the lab that he injected with some shit." In Marvel Comics, Sam Wilson acquired the ability (via Cosmic Cube - see: The Avengers) to mentally link with his pet bird, Redwing, an ability that evolved to eventually allow him to control other birds and extend his vision through theirs.
His ability to fly comes from detachable wings and a built in jet pack (various forms and tech in the comics). Otherwise, he's a normal - albeit very fit - human. In the film, he could be different, if that "injection" is a real thing he's referencing from the script. As for reading up on the part after signing with Marvel Studios:
"It was funny; a lot of the research I found was online. My older brother was a huge comic book buff. So when the news came out online, he called me and just gave me the whole rundown. Luckily, I have a lot of friends who weren't cool growing up, but who are really cool now, so they read a lot of comic books. So I would just call and ask them, and they would send me all of this stuff online, and I got to read a bunch of the old comic books. It’s fortunate, because it’s a take off the comic book, it’s not the exactly storyline of the comic book."
After dodging the first question of whether or not Falcon in the film will have his pet Redwing, Mackie was asked directly again, to which he remained dodgy, keeping consistent with all of his recent interviews, successfully avoiding spilling concrete details on The Winter Soldier.
"Man, I told you I can’t talk…[laughs] This is the first job I got asked to do first, and you’re trying to get me fired first. I have no idea what you’re talking about... This is what I learned about franchises. They can always cast somebody else and say, 'Well that last person died,' or just not address it. You see the second movie, and the guy is a different guy than the first, and they're like, 'Yep, same dude to me.' 'I am very happy to be here.' [said in Eddie Murphy's COMING TO AMERICA voice.]"
Mackie is of course referring to the recasting of James "Rhodey" Rhodes for Iron Man 2 where Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard, setting a scary precedent for actors locking into long-term contracts with Marvel Studios.
As for the villains of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, outside of the introduction of Crossbones (to be played by Frank Grillo), we do not yet know who the main antagonist(s) will be. From Hugo Weaving's words on playing the Red Skull and being in these types of genre blockbusters, it seems unlikely that the Red Skull will be back, even if he was once a possible main villain for The Avengers and even though in the books, he's responsible for Sam Wilson acquiring his ability to connect to other birds.
Instead, speculation and rumors point towards a possible introduction of Baron Zemo or the return of Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) - who would potentially return in another form. In the books, Zola transfers his consciousness into a robot, and we theorized that the character could be combined with MODOK from the comics (see: rumors and Iron Man 3 AIM connection). Jones told MTV at the Golden Globes that he'd love to return but doesn't know if he will.
"I hope so. I'm not sure the script is totally sorted out yet, but I'm waiting to hear about that."
The film begins shooting this April. For more information, check out the latest Captain America 2 rumors. Would you alter Falcon's and/or Zola's abilities/origins for the cinematic universe?
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.