Anthony Mackie Did Not Want to Do 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'

Anthony Mackie stars as Sam Wilson/Falcon in the upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Alongside Mackie, Sebastian Stan stars as Bucky Barnes/Winter Solder. The miniseries will premiere on March 19 and takes place six months after Avengers: Endgame.

Mackie and Stan are close friends, and fans fell in love with their characters’ rapport in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is highly anticipated, Mackie originally took some convincing to sign on to the project.

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ takes place after ‘Avengers: Endgame’

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) goes back in time to live out his days with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). As an old man, he reunites with Sam and Bucky, and he chooses to give his shield to Sam, naming him the new Captain America.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will follow Sam grappling with the weight of Steve’s choice and what it means to be a Black man and Captain America.

“Suddenly, what had been a classic passing of the torch from one hero to another at the end of Endgame became an opening up of our potential to tell an entire story about that,” Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, told Variety.

He continued, “What does it really mean for somebody to step into those shoes, and not just somebody but a Black man in the present day?”

Why Anthony Mackie was hesitant about ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

When Mackie was first pitched the idea of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he was unsure about the TV series. After the success of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mackie worried about how fans would react to the show.

“I didn’t think we could do on the television what we’d been doing on the big screen. I didn’t want to be the face of the first Marvel franchise to fail. Like, ‘See? We cast the Black dude, and now this sh*t is awful,’” Mackie told Variety.

The actor added, “That was a huge fear of mine, and also a huge responsibility with playing a Marvel character.”

Anthony Mackie decided to do the Marvel show

As fans know, Mackie eventually signed on to the project. What changed his mind? Malcolm Spellman’s writing. After reading Spellman’s scripts for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Mackie realized the show could be a complex and successful entity in the Marvel franchise.

While speaking with Variety, Feige explained that fans will learn more about Sam’s backstory in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier while also exploring how Sam handles being a Black superhero in the present day.

“… He’s got experience in the military and doing grief counseling with soldiers who have PTSD. But where did he grow up? Who is his family?” Feige said. “Mackie was excited to dig into it as this man, this Black man in particular, in the Marvel version of the world outside our window.”

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere on Disney+ at midnight PDT on March 19.

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