Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson will make his return in Captain America: New World Order, but what about Thunderbolts, an endeavor that features Sebastian Stan-embodied Bucky Barnes — a character who was intricately associated with the former in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? To this question, even Mackie couldn’t find a concrete answer. Instead, the hilarious remark made by the MCU alum pointed to a problem that may have been plaguing Marvel Studios for a while now.
While it was most certainly a lighthearted remark, it does allude to how certain changes or elements within the narrative of the franchise are added during or much later in the production process, often going beyond the script. What can be ascertained though is that some of MCU’s in-the-moment decisions have led to some remarkable depictions within the universe – that have pleased fans several times.
Will Anthony Mackie Be In Thunderbolts?
In a recent interview with Variety, Anthony Mackie delved into an array of topics, starting from living up to the Captain America moniker to a potential appearance in MCU’s ragtag ensemble film, Thunderbolts – which will reportedly be led by Yelena Belova.
When it comes to the Jacob Schreier-directed premise, fans have voiced several complaints after the complete line-up for the anti-hero team-up film was revealed. Starting from the absence of Baron Zemo to the odd inclusion of Bucky Barnes into the mix — there’s an air of puzzlement and mystery surrounding it.
However, what can be deduced is that a movie centered around a group of antagonistic characters would definitely require some superheroes to counter such forces. The addition of Sam Wilson would not be a far-fetched assumption to have. Thunderbolts not only includes Bucky, but also the U.S. Agent/John Walker. Anyone who has watched The Falcon and the Winter Solider would know the implications are certainly there. Therefore, fan speculations arise from a logical perspective.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) for everyone, Anthony Mackie has offered us an answer that neither denies nor confirms the incorporation of Sam Wilson’s Captain America in the Thunderbolts film. Instead, it indicates an element that the MCU might be notorious for.
A Subtle Dig At MCU’s Lack Of Planning?
In the Variety interview, Mackie responded to a question that has nagged the minds of many fans as of late. Much like many of the audiences, Anthony Mackie, too, does not know whether he is slated to make an appearance in Thunderbolts. The actor alleges that Marvel Studios work in such a manner that involves calling a week before the film starts shooting or is in requirement of a specific talent. Check out the full quote:
“I have no idea. You know how it works. They call you the week before and are like, “We own your a-s. Come get in the movie.”
To say that the MCU often strays from a planned line of action would be an understatement. At times, the franchise has witnessed last-minute additions that have mostly worked in their favor. Take for example throwing the Illuminati members into the chaotic premise of Doctor Strange: Multiverse in Madness at the very last moment. Or we can also take into account the ever-so-iconic, Iron Man line in Avengers: Endgame which mounted up to one of the most epic send-offs in mainstream media.
There are numerous examples, from making Tony Stark Peter Parker’s mentor figure to Captain Marvel not being introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron – the studio has gone beyond the drafts and their framework many times. While it may allude to the franchise’s lack of planning and introduction of constant changes, it has acted often like a double-edged sword. It has saved the premise on several occasions. But it has also led to some pretty irreversible narrative decisions as well.
Whether that’s necessarily good or bad cannot be easily judged. Nevertheless, if Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson being in Thunderbolts does end up in the list of MCU’s last-minute changes, the fans would, without an inkling of doubt, be beyond elated and it would most certainly make the plot more interesting.
For now, however, the MCU fans may just have to stick to their speculations as nothing seems to be confirmed.
Captain America: New World Order will feature the return of Anthony Mackie and is set to release on 3 May 2024.