Even though The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ was met with a positive reception from both critics and fans, and is even in contention for an Emmy nomination, the series had a lot to live up to back when it was released in March of this year.
In addition to exploring real-world themes and transitioning two supporting characters — Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes and Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson — into leading roles, the show was the only second Marvel series for Disney+.
Surprisingly, even Anthony Mackie was nervous thinking he might "be the guy in the first Marvel project that sucked."
But when it comes to the series weighty responsibility of transitioning Mackie's Sam Wilson from the Falcon to the new Captain America, Mackie claims he "felt no pressure whatsoever."
ANTHONY MACKIE DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CAPTAIN AMERICA 4
In a recent interview with Deadline, Anthony Mackie was questioned whether he felt the weight that came with playing an African-American Captain America to which he said, "The weight hasn't really been there."
"The weight hasn't really been there. I don't know why, I felt no pressure whatsoever. More so it's just the excitement of people seeing where Marvel is going to take the character."
That responsibility of wielding the shield was something The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored throughout the series run; and just like Sam Wilson, Anthony Mackie sounds both ready and committed to the job.
Now since the MCU has a new Captain America, Mackie was naturally questioned about the possibility of his own solo Cap film.
But due to Marvel Studios' crowded Phase 4 slate and Mackie's comments about not having "heard from anybody," it sounds like fans may have to wait awhile.
During his response, Mackie touched on the Black Panther sequel, indicating that Marvel is keeping busy to be fully prepared for its production start next month:
"I don't know, I don't know. Literally, the show came out, and for the last episode, we had a Zoom party, like, with everybody. And that was it. Like I haven't heard from anybody since, so I mean, [Marvel Studios] have a million things going on. I know the prep for Black Panther 2 is driving everybody ragged, so I don't know. I'm interested to see where it's going."
Mackie exchanging his wings for the shield is no doubt one of the most powerful moments in the MCU whose history echoes that of 2018's Black Panther.
Due to the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the sequel for that 2018 juggernaut has been forced to adapt; and while fans don't know how director Ryan Coogler intends to handle T'Challa's absence, fans do know that film is officially titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
When Mackie was questioned if he's excited about the Black Panther sequel, the actor answered saying, "I'm more excited for my kids to see Black Panther 2."
MACKIE'S CAP SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS?
In the weeks following the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Mackie has been candid about the series and his hopes to be part of the MCU for the next two decades.
Still, it's interesting to hear that he didn't feel pressure about assuming the title of Captain America considering the unique symbolism and history that comes with that title. This, of course, could be attributed to Marvel Studios and their relationship with their actors.
But it can also be attributed to Mackie himself as, like Sam Wilson, he's not interested in simply being a "black Captain America" or another version of Chris Evans' Steve Rogers.
Instead, he's his own man with a purpose that's bigger than himself. And isn't that exactly what a Captain America should be?
In addition, Mackie's somewhat ambiguous comments about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever leave a little room for speculation. Either he's more excited about his kids seeing a Black Panther sequel due to its message, or he's more excited for them since he could be in it as a cameo.