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That roster for The Avengers: Age of Ultro seems pretty crowded. Didn’t Jeremy Renner already complain that his character got shafted in the first film? Now he, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America, Thor and Nick Fury will have to make space for siblings Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, android The Vision, Don Cheadle’s War Machine and possibly Captain Marvel. With a dual villain act of Baron Von Strucker and Ultron, that’s one crowded movie. None of you would complain if this thing came in at three hours, but it probably isn’t. And yet, what does a Falcon have to do to get invited to the team??
Anthony Mackie has the choice role of The Falcon in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But, according to him, he has yet to be called to be an Avenger. He tells Total Film (via Coming Soon):
"I call all of them at Marvel every Monday. I'm like, 'So have y'all decided if I'm in Avengers 2 yet? I'll get on the bus to Albuquerque tomorrow!' I wanted to be a superhero from the first day that I started in this business, and to have the opportunity to be a superhero is kind of remarkable. If I get the opportunity to be in The Avengers 2, 3, 7 and 18, there's no way I would complain or balk at any part of that."
Mackie, who is contractually obligated to appear in a third Captain America, also suggested that the film’s current incarnation of the character, based in the Ultimates characterization (R.I.P.), has more of a military application that would evolve into the "hard black leather look." It’s good that they’re at least planning the costume in advance.
In the comics, The Falcon actually has a highly decorated past stretching back 45 years, the first-ever African American superhero. Mackie’s Falcon provides counseling to PTSD survivors in the new film, which mirrors his origins as a social worker in the comics, where he eventually received training from Captain America to become the winged hero. And, hey, he actually joined the Avengers in 1979, serving as one of their longest-running members over the years. He’s also got his own trained bird, Redwing, though it’s unclear if he pops up in The Winter Soldier.
There really isn’t much room for the Falcon in the coming film, but Falcon was one of the many members of the Defenders, a makeshift roster of heroes that often operated spontaneously based on availability, with no official membership or status similar to the Avengers. Over the years, the Defenders have counted the Hulk, Hawkeye, Vision, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Deathlok and the Guardians Of The Galaxy, among many others.
The reason those names stand out is because Marvel owns the rights to them, and could very well want to feature them again: Dr. Strange and Black Panther are rumored to be a part of Marvel’s Phase III, Cage and Daredevil are part of that fancy Netflix deal, Ghost Rider has reverted back from Sony to Marvel and Deathlok will pop up on the small-screen’s Agents Of SHIELD. Surely there are too many heroes for just Avengers films, which is why the current Netflix plan involves a Defenders series that mixes the pieces of all four greenlit series. But this is pretty far in the future; maybe they should switch strategies and try to get the Defenders on the big screen instead.