Previous appearances of Anthony Mackie's Falcon have placed the character on the back burner as a rather inconsequential side character, but the actor is finally set to take the lead this month in his own series. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will place the two heroes Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in the MCU spotlight for the first time in this big-budget adventure.
The veteran-turned-Avenger was first introduced in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier but has since grown into a fan-favorite character and the successor to Steve Rogers' star-spangled mantle.
Marvel movies and series' like WandaVision have placed the universe's most powerful heroes on reality-altering extravaganzas that have changed the course of the MCU forever. However, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will tell a very different story due to the unique, less powerful nature of the characters, something the cast and crew have frequently discussed in the series' marketing.
WHAT MAKES SAM WILSON SPECIAL?
A recent article from Variety has highlighted Falcon actor Anthony Mackie's jump to leading man status in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier while including comments from the actor himself as well as Marvel CCO Kevin Feige.
Feige explains why Wilson is so different from the MCU's biggest heroes as “he’s not from another planet or a king from another country;” he's simply "an African American man":
“Sam Wilson as played by Mackie is different than a Thor or a Black Panther, because he’s not from another planet or a king from another country. He’s an African American man. He’s got experience in the military and doing grief counseling with soldiers who have PTSD. But where did he grow up? Who is his family? Mackie was excited to dig into it as this man, this Black man in particular, in the Marvel version of the world outside our window.”
Mackie went on to share his love for the character and being the “eyes and ears of the audience” as he gets to “go out and fight alongside superheroes" just as many fans would love to do:
“I’m basically the eyes and ears of the audience, if you were put in that position where you could go out and fight alongside superheroes. It adds a really nice quality to him, that he’s a regular guy who can go out there and do special things”
THE FALCON SPREADS HIS WINGS
Feige's comments seem to indicate fans are in for a deep-personal story in the upcoming Disney+ series that will explore the character more elaborately than ever before. The Falcon's time as a side-character in past appearances has meant very little to the hero's backstory that will now be explored in great detail.
WandaVision has clearly shown that the long-form nature of a Disney+ series offers a lot more opportunity to learn about the iconic action heroes in a way theatrical installments have been unable to do in the past. With both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes being the sufferers of great trauma through the years, it's exciting for Marvel fans to finally see that side of the Avengers in their own series.
Based on the descriptions from the upcoming series and what WandaVision has shown so far, Marvel wants their blockbuster Disney+ projects to focus on relatable themes that fans can relate to such as trauma and loss.
Making superheroes more relatable to fans often leads to a deeper connection to the characters. This is something the Falcon is an excellent fit for as he is essentially just an average man with no superpowers.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier drops its first episode on March 19, exclusively on Disney+.