With WandaVision set to conclude its run with its ninth episode set to release today, all eyes are now fixed on Marvel’s next project: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, the two actors are set to reprise their roles as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes from the previous movies. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be following a buddy-cop style as the two characters join forces to battle Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and a dangerous organization called the Flag-Smashers in the wake of Steve Roger’s (Chris Evans) retirement from the mantle of Captain America.
Ahead of the premiere of the show, Chris Evans, who played the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the MCU has shared his opinion on who should be the rightful heir to the famous shield and the prestigious title of Captain America.
“He’s proven his courage, loyalty and reliability over multiple films. Sam has given so much, and he’s also lost a lot too. He believes in something bigger than himself, and that type of humility is necessary to carry the shield.”
Having made his debut alongside Eminem in 8 Mile, Anthony Mackie has fought a long and arduous battle to be one of MCU’s leading actors. As the world is still mourning the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the responsibility now lies upon Mackie to be an inspiring role model for millions of black people as Sam Wilson. Paired just with his mechanical wings, Sam Wilson has the potential to become the next big thing for Marvel Studios and climb the pecking order after a decade of dominance by actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier recorded a humongous 125 million combined viewership for its trailer and the SuperBowl TV ad has a budget of nearly $150 million for six episodes with The Handmaid Tale‘s Kari Skogland directing. As a black man suffering from PTSD, the opportunity is ripe for Marvel Studios to explore the character of Sam Wilson as the leading black character of the multi-billion dollar franchise. Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios also seems to have grand plans for the character with this recent statement:
“Sam Wilson as played by Mackie is different than a Thor or a Black Panther, because he’s not from another planet or a king from another country. He’s an African American man. 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? 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.”
As the future of Hollywood is inevitably shifting towards online streaming platforms, studios now have much more creative freedom to explore lesser-known characters through hours of storytelling instead of cramming it up in a 2-hour movie. With racial tensions at an all-time high across the United States, what better way is there to stand up to inequality by making an average black character with no special powers the symbol of what America truly stands for?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere on March 18 exclusively on Disney+ starring Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Don Cheadle, and Georges St-Pierre reprising his role from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.