Last week saw the announcement that Anthony Mackie has entered negotiations to star in the Captain America sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, alongside returning cast members Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson. If negotiations go well then Mackie will be seen on our screens in 2014 as the Falcon.
Debuting in Captain America #117 (September 1969), the Falcon is the alter-ego of Sam Wilson and was one of mainstream comics’ earliest African-American superheroes.
First appearing in 1969, Wilson went on to work alongside Steve Rogers (Captain America) through many of his story-arcs during the 1970’s.
The Falcon was first introduced as an unnamed but respected community volunteer and former resident of Harlem, New York City. However, in Captain America #186 (June 1975) it was revealed to readers that Sam Wilson was actually a professional criminal, gang member and pimp who had had his memories erased during his creation by the Red Skull.
Wilson adopted the alter-ego of the Falcon after his plane crashed on an island inhabited by war criminals and allies of the Nazi super-villain Johann Schmidt (the Red Skull). It was here that the Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to mentally fuse the mind of Wilson with a falcon named Redwing creating a mental link that would, with time and concentration, give Wilson broad powers over all birds. Upon his escape from the Red Skull, Wilson trained excessively with Captain America and later begun wearing a harnessed suit which gave him the ability to fly.
In later years the character of the Falcon went on to work for the organization S.H.I.E.L.D alongside Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the current movie universe) and later went on to briefly join the Defenders, becoming a member of the Avengers in issues #183-194 (May 1979 – April 1980).
Mackie is a rising star in Hollywood with notable turns in The Hurt Locker, The Adjustment Bureau and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. If Mackie accepts the role of the Falcon it will undoubtedly take him out of the running to play the Black Panther in any future Marvel movies featuring the titular character which he had expressed an interest in.
Details regarding Captain America: The Winter Soldier are being kept tightly under wraps by Marvel Studios and those involved. Nevertheless, the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFreely is said to take place primarily in the modern day, following on from the events of Avengers Assemble.
The story will feature flashbacks to Captain America’s efforts in World War II and it is heavily rumoured that directors Anthony and Joe Russo will structure the sequel to Joe Johnston’s 2011 origin story as a realistic and gritty globe-trotting espionage thriller.
The main antagonist of the sequel is likely to be that of The Winter Soldier, aka James ‘Bucky’ Barnes, the best friend of Steve Rogers who was last seen plummeting to his supposed death in Captain America: The First Avenger. If the film follows Bucky’s comic story-arc then the character will likely have survived the fall but will have gone on to be captured by Soviet forces. Although Bucky is saved from death, he is brainwashed and turned into a Soviet assassin and becomes a deadly foe to his once best friend.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier which will be released 4th April 2014. Also set to return for the sequel are Samuel L. Jackson as Agent Nick Fury and Sebastian Stan as ‘Bucky’ Barnes.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be the second film in phase two of Marvel’s cinematic universe following Thor: The Dark World and preceding the recently announced 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy feature.