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Why Anthony Mackie Is Excited For Sam Wilson's Falcon And Winter Soldier Arc

For an actor, being cast as a lead character in one of the world's biggest franchises is the opportunity of a lifetime. Playing a Marvel character is one of life's best retirement plans, but even though some of us might be content to ride out the wave of Marvel success, stars like Anthony Mackie still strive to challenge themselves each time they don the spandex.

Mackie has been playing Falcon since Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, and he's appeared in six Marvel films overall. Falcon has always been either a secondary character in other superheroes' stories or an ensemble player when the Avengers all get together. 

But the upcoming Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier is going to change that, putting the winged superhero with bird-telepathy powers at center stage for the first time on-screen. Recently, Mackie sat down with the folks at Hot Ones. In between bites of very hot chicken wings, he talked about why the show will explore the character more deeply than ever before.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier will show us new sides of the bird guy

Hot Ones host Sean Evans kicked things off by asking Mackie about his comments in a 2014 interview with Garden & Gun magazine. Discussing the role of Falcon, Mackie said that he was excited for the opportunity because second- and third-lead characters in movies are "always the best characters." On Hot Ones, Mackie explained that while the lead character often has the burdens of delivering exposition and moving the story forward, secondary characters can just be characters, with all their flaws and conflicts. As an actor, Mackie said that playing a secondary character lets him just act.

But being the lead on a TV series is much different than being a lead in a movie, and the TV version of Falcon in Falcon and the Winter Soldier is much different than a hypothetical Falcon leading his own movie. With several more hours of screen time available, a TV series lets Mackie and co-star Sebastian Stan explore the relationship between their two title characters much more deeply. Mackie compared his show to WandaVision in this way. While fans met Scarlet Witch and Vision during the Avengers movies, they really got to know them during on their TV show.

Eager fans have already been coming up with Falcon and the Winter Soldier theories, so Mackie's thoughts will no doubt make them even more excited. The series will premiere on Mar. 19, 2021, so we won't even have to wait for the WandaVision buzz to wear off.