Anthony Mackie on Playing First African-American Superhero 'Falcon'

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Anthony Mackie - Source: Wikipedia 
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe entering its post-Avengers Phase 2, we're starting to hear a lot of exciting casting news. Recently, I was psyched to hear that Anthony Mackie will portray Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (CATWS). This is a key role because not only does Falcon have a long comic book history as Captain America's brother-in-arms, he also happens to be Marvel's first African-American superhero, both in comics and film. 

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In fact, Falcon was the first African-American superhero of any mainstream comic company when he debuted in Captain America #117 (September 1969). Falcon is also notable as being the first superhero of African heritage to not have the word "black" preceding his superhero name.  With over 40 years of comic book history, it's no surprise that Mackie is taking his role in the Captain America sequel quite seriously. 

In an interview with Vulture, Mackie talked about the extreme training he'll undergo for CATWS - 
"He's (Falcon) known for his physique. He's described as 6'3", 245 pounds, so starting Monday, for the next five months until we start shooting, I'm going back to high-school workouts and start doing two-a-days, so I get up to 230 pounds. I'm going to try not to get a job between now and then, so I can really focus on this. Because Chris Evans is in such good shape! I'm just a dude he dragged into the lab that he injected with some shit, but I got to stand next to him. So we shall see!"


  Mackie also mentioned that his brother, a long-time comics fan, was almost as excited as he was - 
"When I got the part, I called my brother, and I told him, 'Guess what I'm doing.' And I told him the movie and who I was playing, and he literally just gave me a litany of history about this character. He went in his closet, and he dug out a copy of the very first Captain America with the Falcon in it. So I said to him, 'Holy shit, you're an Über-nerd!'"
Mackie also told MTV (in the video below) how honored he was to be playing Marvel's first African-American superhero.

“It's amazing. The biggest part of it is, I think kids for so long have been looking for a role model or someone to look up to. I feel like this being truly the first African American superhero, being introduced in this movie and in this way, I feel like it's going to be great. The Russo brothers are great. They're very funny guys and they're great when it comes to storytelling. I'm interested in how it's going to turn out.” 

From what I've read about CATWS, the movie is going to focus on Steve Rogers' affiliation with the anti-terrorist agency, S.H.I.E.L.D., while grappling with the return of his World War II friend, James "Bucky" Barnes. I can't wait to see how Marvel incorporates Sam Wilson into the story, and I'm sure they're going to write a great part for Mackie to play. Stay tuned for more info on CATWS as it comes in. 

Thanks to CBM for the heads up, and Wikipedia for information on Falcon's history.