Here’s one reason to love Anthony Mackie: When it comes to speculating on the expanding future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – of which, he is a key cog – he has no trouble floating theories and playing along. Rarely will you get a "No comment" from Marvel’s on-screen Falcon. Sometimes, though, you have to work overtime to decipher what he’s saying… or why he is saying it.
Anthony Mackie was out promoting his new drama Black or White, and was asked by Windy City Live whether his character ever will become Captain America, the way that Sam Wilson does in the comics. And Mackie didn’t say no. But he didn’t say yes. He explained, in a roundabout way:
There are many incarnations in the comic book, and we are now going into the Civil War. So, if you look at it in the comic book, Cap gives Bucky the shield, Bucky gives it back to Cap, Cap gives it to [Sam Wilson]. Then Bucky goes off and marries Black Widow, so I keep the shield... give it back to Cap, and recently, Cap wanted to be old, so he gave me the shield back. And now I got the Shield; I'm not giving it back."
Well, sure. That’s what happens in the story, Anthony Mackie. But is that what’s going to happen in the films? Mackie knows he was answering the question without ever answering the question. But what he proves – indirectly – is that there is SO MUCH story to cover from the books, and not a lot of time to do it in on screen. What takes years to spell out in a comic book arc can’t be translated to a two-hour movie. Especially when a director like Joss Whedon has to juggle 15 other characters, from Thor and Iron Man to Hulk and Hawkeye.
Part of the fun is hearing Mackie dance around his answer for yourself. Press play, and skip to the 4:00 mark:
Do I think that Anthony Mackie’s Falcon will become Captain America? Possibly, but not any time soon. If any actor from the Captain America universe is being groomed to take over for Chris Evans (when Evans is tired of maintaining the necessary superhero physique), it’s likely going to be Sebastian Stan, who was the Winter Soldier in Cap 2. As Mackie says in the convoluted quote, Cap gives Bucky the shield, and Bucky keeps it for a while. Will he keep it on screen, too? We can only sit back, watch and wait to see.