Anthony Mackie Describes His Emotional Reaction To Getting Captain America’s Shield

Anthony Mackie as Falcon / Sam Wilson holding Captain America shield
(Image credit: (Marvel))

This summer’s Avengers: Endgame was packed with huge moments for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some scenes served as bookends to conclude stories a decade in the making, others opened up new chapters coming to the MCU, such as Old Man Cap returning after his time travel journey to pass his shield to Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. Anthony Mackie is currently filming his role on the upcoming Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he recently explained how his new rank in this franchise feels. Here’s what Mackie said:

You know what, to be honest, it’s very emotional. I’ve been in the business for 20 years and I’ve been fortunate to do some amazing stuff and work with amazing people. For me, to be a Black man in 2019 and be given the helm of Captain America with the history of Black men in this country is a monumental step, not only in entertainment, but also in my life. It’s been extremely emotional. Look, my grandfather was a sharecropper, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of history and pain and triumph and joy that comes along with me being Captain America.

Hand over the tissue box, Mackie! This is pretty incredible. When the actor boldly emailed the studio after starring in Best Picture Winner The Hurt Locker years ago asking if he could earn a spot in the MCU, he likely had no idea it would pan out. He certainly considered himself lucky when he nabbed a spot alongside Chris Evans in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yet now he has appeared in six Marvel films and was passed down the helm of the franchise’s First Avenger. Now, he’ll front his own television show. That’s massive!

Just a few years ago, the idea of a Black superhero fronting something like this just didn’t happen. Then Black Panther came around. Diversity on large scale projects have swiftly started to become commonplace, but not without a long line of blue-eyed big-screen heroes first. What’s sweet is Mackie actually learned of the Avengers: Endgame scene from Chris Evans, who accidentally spoiled the scene for Mackie while the two were hanging out off set.

Chris Evans showed Anthony Mackie the scene on the page himself in a cool ‘passing down the mantle’ moment. Though the Falcon actor is quite aware of the weight on his shoulders to follow Evan’s iconic performance, calling it a "huge challenge." Even the character now possesses the red, white and blue vibranium shield, he has assured fans he’ll still be Falcon in the television series coming in 2020.

Anthony Mackie will be teaming up with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes for the show that also stars Daniel Brühl as Captain Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter and new face Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent. The six-episode series will be the first of many MCU shows coming to Disney+ in the next few years, which include WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres in fall 2020.

Disney+ subscribers can enjoy the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, streaming on the platform now, among many other offerings from the Mouse House.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.