Anthony Mackie Originally Hated Captain America Plot In Falcon and the Winter Soldier

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Captain America Anthony Mackie Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios has seen incredible success from its new venture into episodic storytelling on Disney+, highlighted by shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The MCU's second entry of 2021 released to rave reviews almost immediately, all before Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes defeated the Flag Smashers with Sam evolving into the new Captain America.

Although Marvel had been wildly popular before this outing, there was still some trepidation concerning how a show like this would perform with such a different format than the first 23 movies. Anthony Mackie even admitted that he wasn't thrilled about the idea of his next project being a TV show, nervous that it wouldn't match the quality and excitement that the theatrical releases hold.

In his most recent chat about the show, he re-emphasized this initial fear while giving new stories about his experience in Phase 4.


MCU star Anthony Mackie appeared on the SAG-AFTRA Foundation YouTube Channel as a part of its "Conversations at Home" segment with the cast of Marvel Studios' The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. During this video, he explained some of his early worries about the project and detailed his journey to become Captain America.

Mackie's biggest fear taking on this Disney+ project was not wanting "to be the guy in the first Marvel project that sucked," especially after starring in six previous MCU movies.

With the addition of director Kari Skogland and head writer Malcolm Spellman, the team "promised [him] that they were gonna keep the same level of work" from the movies and helped calm his nerves in that sense:

"It was nerve wracking. I was very shocked and afraid. I didn’t want to be the guy in the first Marvel project that sucked. So I didn’t know what to make it of it. But once we got into it, and they promised me that they were gonna keep the same level of work that we’d been doing on the movie screen, from the movie screen to the television screen. I got excited about it. Once Kari and Malcolm were put on this show, I got excited about it. I think everybody was kind of weird about what was going on, it was so secretive. Sebastian and I had our meetings on the same day, and it was like ‘So, what’re you going in for? I don’t know what you’re going in for.’ I thought it was gonna be a disaster, especially putting me and Sebastian together and letting us go."

Mackie also reflected on the direction of the show, revealing that it "was more about the continuation of what was gonna happen with the shield" than Sam Wilson actually "becoming Captain America." 

He even bluntly said he "wasn't excited" and "was really confused" about Marvel's plan for the Captain America-focused plot, thinking that it "was gonna be an awful idea" before it came together:

"We never talked about that when the pitch of the show came about. It was more about the continuation of what was gonna happen with the shield, if it was gonna be Bucky or if it was gonna be Sam. At the end of Endgame, Sam didn’t accept the shield, he told Steve ‘It feels like this is someone else’s, it feels like it’s yours.’ So at no point in time was he excited or looking forward to the idea of becoming Captain America. It was more so Kevin and Nate telling me ‘We’re not sure what’s happening, so the show will be more about the idea or the archetype of Captain America, not you becoming Captain America.’ So I was really confused leaving out of the meeting, and I wasn’t excited either. I hated the idea, I thought it was gonna be an awful idea!"


Mackie hasn't been shy about expressing his previous nervousness about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier working within the MCU, especially with it originally scheduled to be the first show on Disney+. Although Marvel put out a fantastic product in March and April 2021, those worries may not have been completely unfounded considering the MCU was taking such a bold step into the streaming venue.

It's also interesting to find out about Marvel having the goal of showing the journey of Captain America's shield rather than Sam simply taking on the mantle immediately, especially considering how Avengers: Endgame concluded. 

Sam Wilson revisited this moment in the first episode which started his path to eventually realizing he was the right choice to follow in Steve Rogers' footsteps. His performance added the necessary gravitas to a story of Marvel's caliber, and he will certainly play a huge role in the MCU's future as well with projects like the reported Captain America 4.

All six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are available to stream on Disney+.

Release Date
March 19, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.