Comic books films rarely ever used to entangle themselves in the problems of the real world, opting instead for the fantastical and the spectacular over any sense of realism. That all changed when Christopher Nolan unveiled his Dark Knight Trilogy, and Marvel has run with the ball ever since – especially in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. According to Anthony Mackie, Captain America: Civil War looks to continue that tradition of political espionage.
In a recent interview, thanks to his duties involving Our Brand Is Crisis, Mackie spilled the beans on how he feels about the Captain America franchise – both on the screen, as well as on the page. No matter which you choose, there's a very clear political leaning to the Star Spangled Man in both his Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson incarnations, and the actor isn't immune to those comparisons. In fact, he embraces them, as you'll see in his remarks below:
I feel like Captain America is all about the ups and downs of the society that we live in today. It's really genius how Marvel can take fictional characters -- superheroes at that -- and then take the politics of today and wrap them all together and make you believe and buy into it.
This, naturally, isn't the first time we've seen Marvel Studios play around with politics in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as we saw Tony Stark fighting against the Military Industrial Complex, as well as a special Senate subcommittee in the Iron Man films, as well as some political wranglings making their way into Joss Whedon's The Avengers. With the World Security Council being introduced in the latter film, and being put to good use during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the MCU used subjects such as The Patriot Act, government whistle-blowing, and government bureaucracy – and turned them into a spectacular comic book film that just happened to be a political thriller.
With Captain America: Civil War bringing similar themes to a boil, all thanks to the Superhero Registration Act, Anthony Mackie's Falcon will be fighting for the anti-registration side, and he's got some impressive team members lined up along with him. In addition to Cap and Bucky reuniting to form the power duo we've been waiting for since World War II, they've also got Hawkeye, Agent 13, and the newest Avenger – Ant-Man – to call upon when things get too rough. Interestingly enough, the superhero with the most patriotism in his backstory is also the one with the most stereotypically liberal stance on issues, and as his Comic Book Resources interview pointed out, it's part of what excited Mackie about being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
More feathers are surely going to rustle when Captain America: Civil War unfurls its story about the ways and means government agents use to prevent terrorism, and as long as the story is interesting enough that the audience can buy into it, you'll pretty much guarantee that Anthony Mackie will be along for the ride. If Joe and Anthony Russo manage to once more weave that special brand of magic they did with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you can be assure that it will check all of those boxes, and then some.
Audiences will be able to weigh in when they see Captain America: Civil War on March 23, 2016; though you can see Anthony Mackie playing a political operative in Our Brand Is Crisis