The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the most recent hit from Marvel Studios. And after the success of WandaVision, the Disney+ series has a lot to live up to. Star Anthony Mackie even admitted that he feared The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was going to be the first Marvel project to fail. Perhaps the actor’s fear stems from the frustration he experienced early in his career.
Anthony Mackie plays Marvel’s Falcon since 2014.
Mackie made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In that film, he serves as Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) new best friend and one of his closest allies. The year after in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mackie’s Sam Wilson aka Falcon joins the superhero team. And he remained a key supporting actor from then on.
But the MCU really leaned on Falcon in the dying moments of Avengers: Endgame. In one of the final scenes of the film, an older Steve hands Sam his shield and gives him the mantle of Captain America. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier shows that Sam is much more hesitant to become the new Cap. And Mackie didn’t originally want to do the series either.
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The actor told how he struggled before getting his superhero role
Although Mackie has played leading roles before, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” puts him front and center like never before. And as the actor recently told Variety, he’s adjusted to his big breakouts turning into opportunities for his co-stars. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, however, allows Mackie to put himself in the spotlight.
“There were certain pegs. My first one was 8 Mile. That was a monumental step in the early part of my career. … After that, it was Half Nelson. That one blew up Ryan Gosling. So I was there to try to ride that wave. Then The Hurt Locker, and that one blew up Jeremy Renner. That was the joke for a long time. If you’re a white guy and you want to get nominated for an Oscar, play opposite me. I bring the business for white guys.”
As for Mackie, Eminem won an Academy Award for his “8 Mile” anthem “Lose Yourself.” And the actor’s role in the Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker” instead boosted Renner. Of course, Renner and Mackie later starred together in several Marvel films. Mackie’s other pre-Marvel hits include Pain & Gain and Million Dollar Baby, another Best Picture Oscar winner.
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‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ could herald an exciting future
Now that Marvel is giving Mackie his own series, fans are excited to see what the future holds for Falcon. The big question hanging over the series is how the MCU will honor Steve Rogers’ legacy in the future. Will Sam Wilson really become the next Captain America?
At this point, it’s very possible. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier plays very similarly to Captain America 4, and the return of Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Zemo (Daniel Brühl), as well as the focus on the Super Soldier serum, suggest that the MCU could have a new Cap very soon.