Exclusive: Anthony Mackie Taking the Falcon Seriously

Among that cast (and reuniting with Brian Geraghty for the first time since Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker) is Anthony Mackie, an actor we’ve spoken to many times over the years, and whose career has really blossomed in recent years following the Oscar-winning film. Mackie most recently appeared in Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, but there was a lot of excitement when it was announced that Mackie would play Sam Wilson aka The Falcon in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

At the brunch, we had a chance to talk briefly with Mackie about the role, which he’s taking very seriously, because he considers The Falcon to be an iconic role as Marvel’s first real African-American superhero. Although the production doesn’t start until next March, he told us he’s starting his training soon and that he got his hands on a whole collection of the Captain America and the Falcon comics from the ‘70s, particularly the run written by Steve Englehart that helped define the character.

Mackie told us that he found some of Sam Wilson’s backstory interesting–the fact that he moved to L.A. to become a drugdealer and a pimp–but he’s not sure how much of that will be incorporated into the movie version of the character, since he has yet to read a single page of the script even though he’s just as anxious as everyone else to see how The Falcon will be used in the movie. From the recently-announced subtitle, it’s clearly going to involve the return of Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier and the Falcon played quite a bit role in the Ed Brubaker-written issues of that particular run of Captain America.

Incidentally, Mackie also spoke to Newsday sometime last week and he had a few more things to say about the Falcon and why he wanted to play him:

I’m playing the Falcon. He’s this guy in Harlem who moved to California and became a drug dealer. His plane crashed, and he was genetically altered, and he can fly, has telepathic powers. He’s the first African-American superhero. It makes me feel all the work I’ve done has been paying off. I have a son, nephews and nieces, and I love the idea that they can dress up as the Falcon on Halloween. They now have someone they can idolize. That’s a huge honor for me.

10 Years is now playing in select cities. After that, you can see Mackie in Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad on January 11 and this time next year in Brad Furman’s Runner Runner in which he plays a fed assigned to take down offshore gambling. (Mackie compared that movie to a cross between 21 and The Social Network, which were both loosely based on Ben Mezrich non-fiction novels).

(Photo Credit: Andres Otero/ WENN.com)