While it’s not uncommon for directors to have certain actors in mind for characters, there’s generally a lengthy audition and vetting process ahead of any official casting, just to make sure the actress or actor in question is the right choice. Because of the money involved, especially in a multi-billion dollar franchise such as the MCU, it’s rare for an actor to completely skip the auditioning process. However, Marvel executive Kevin Feige recently revealed that a major MCU actor was offered a role before even auditioning.
Kevin Feige recently shared that Anthony Mackie was always the first choice to play Sam Wilson’s Falcon, and the actor was offered the role without an audition. When asked about his first memories of Mackie, Feige had this to say:
The first experience was him being the unanimous first choice to play the character. We just offered him the role, in my memory; he did not audition. That’s only happened a handful of times at Marvel. Mr. Mackie was one of those times. I thought he would be great as this character. As we often do, when we’re casting, you cast for the immediate role at hand — which was Sam Wilson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but if it all goes well, that can grow and evolve into numerous things. You want an actor who can do it all, which of course, Anthony can.
Man, wouldn’t that be a heck of a phone call? Kevin Feige told the story of how Anthony Mackie was offered a coveted position in the MCU in an interview with Variety. The head honcho also noted just how rare it is for an actor to be offered a position at Marvel without going through the usual audition process. Although he does mention that the studio is always casting for the immediate role and a major reason Mackie was such an attractive choice was due to his flexibility as an actor and his potential to grow.
I think it’s safe to say that Anthony Mackie’s Falcon has definitely grown into a pivotal character over the past few years. Since being cast in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he has appeared in a total of six MCU titles including mega-hit Avengers: Endgame. Mackie is also set to star in his own highly anticipated Disney + series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The latest MCU entry into Disney +’s growing catalogue will have Mackie’s Sam Wilson (Falcon) teaming up with Sebastian Stan’s Buckey Barnes (The Winter Soldier). The pair will unite after the loss of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, who offered Sam Wilson the Captain America title, and fight the Flag-Smashers, an anti-patriotic terrorist organization.
Anthony Mackie recently revealed that Sam Wilson has yet to accept the title of Captain America, as there is no clear answer at the end of Avengers: Endgame. He also mentioned that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will explore his character's ultimate decision and the search for a new Captain America. It looks like Feige's decision to offer Mackie the role of Falcon, even without an audition, paid off after all.