Anthony Mackie Originally Auditioned To Play the Mandarin

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame!

Over the past five years, Anthony Mackie has come a long way within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He got his start in 2014 as Sam Wilson/the Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But soon he’ll become the new Captain America, having picked up the shield from Steve Rogers at the end of Avengers: Endgame. But that wasn’t always the path he was expected to take within this world, based on his interview with Men’s Health.

According to Mackie, he tried out for the role of the Mandarin back when Iron Man 3 first began casting. While the role eventually ended up going to Ben Kingsley, Mackie’s screen test didn’t end up going unnoticed. Several creative brokers at Marvel, including producer Nate Moore and Endgame co-director Joe Russo, met up with Mackie over lunch which led to his casting in The Winter Soldier.

“He has charisma, but he also has the ability to convey integrity in a way that very few actors can,” explained Russo. “And there’s a level of trust between him and the audience.”

Related: DVD/Blu-Ray Release Details for Avengers: Endgame Revealed

Mackie didn’t know which character he would be playing until just a few weeks before production began.

“Growing up, I’d always loved Falcon, because he was a comic-book hero who was black who didn’t have ‘Black’ in the title,” said Mackie. “He stood on his morals. He stood on who he was.”

Sam Wilson’s journey will continue with the Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier; which doesn’t currently have a release date.

The full interview can be found here. How do you think Mackie would have fared in the role of the Mandarin? Let us know in the comments below!

Recommended Reading: Captain America and the Falcon: The Complete Collection