In the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, Chris Evans‘ Steve Rogers passed his iconic shield to Anthony Mackie‘s Falcon and with it the mantle of Captain America. It was a game-changing moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and by the time The Falcon and The Winter Soldier concludes on Disney+, audiences will witness Mackie officially become the new Cap.
The series is currently in production, but Mackie found time to stop by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where you could tell the gravity of his new role has become a humbling experience that the actor doesn’t take lightly. Via Screen Rant:
“It is monumental, man. I mean… to have Marvel select a young black man in America to represent the moniker of Captain America is is unprecedented. There’s nothing that can compare to that. There’s – it… it moves me not only that my kids get to see a black man as Captain America, but all of their friends white, black, Latino, and Asia can see a black man as Captain America.”
While some MCU actors have shown an eagerness to move past their superheroic roles, Mackie recently told Vanity Fair that playing Falcon has been his “Oscar” even though his original dream when he came to Hollywood was to star in a Western.
“Then, I was very upset because Morgan Freeman took my role and Unforgiven, that should have been me,” he joked. “But, I’m gonna get my Western with Clint Eastwood. It has been monumental. The Falcon has been my Oscar. I feel like there are few rewards that could justify a career, a body of work, the way Marvel has entrusted with me, this character.”
Mackie concluded, “Not just for the African-American community, but just the veteran community in general. I think what that character represents, not only to Marvel but to America, is very important. I’m very honored to play that role.”
If the fan speculation surrounding Carl Lumbly joining The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is correct, Marvel is making more than just one bold move in rolling out Mackie as the first, on-screen black Captain America. The series is primed to delve into the political overtones of Cap being an African-American man, which may have happened before in the MCU’s past, and it sounds like Mackie is pumped for the ride.
You can watch Mackie talk about the gravity of being the next Captain America at the 5:30 mark below: