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Anthony Mackie to Play Falcon in ‘Captain America 2’

Marvel Studios had a big Comic-Con last weekend announcing official titles for its Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger sequels as well as a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and Ant-Man. You might think that would guarantee a mini vacation from Marvel movie news, but not if this bit of news is true: Anthony Mackie is negotiating to play Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Word comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who says Marvel would not confirm the role to be Falcon despite the character's notoriety as the first African-American Marvel hero and a long-time partner of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).

First appearing in 1969, Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, grew up in Harlem and turned his back on society after the death of his parents, adopting the persona "Snap" and getting involved in drug-running. He became his alias when a plane to a job in Brazil crash-landed on Exiles Island, essentially in the middle of the continued conflict between Captain America and Red Skull. The latter used the Cosmic Cube and fused Wilson's mind with Redwing, a falcon he befriended on the island. Eventually, Rogers would convince Wilson to adopt the Falcon mantle to inspire the natives on the island to rebel against HYDRA. Over time, Falcon becomes capable of flight (via a harness) and can telepathically communicate with others birds. He also becomes somewhat involved with The Avengers.

Mackie became an in-demand actor after his role in The Hurt Locker, appearing in several major studio films since then including Real Steel, The Adjustment Bureau and last month's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

With Captain America living in present day, it's hard to figure out exactly how Falcon will fit in, but the new title Captain America: The Winter Soldier gives us a strong indicator of what we might expect. Winter Soldier refers to Rogers' best friend, Bucky Barnes, a role expected to be reprised by Sebastian Stan.

For those who have seen the first film (that means put your spoiler goggles on folks), Barnes plummets from a train to what we presume is an icy death. In the comics, he is discovered by the Soviets and turned into a top-flight assassin code-named the Winter Soldier. Similar to what happened with Cap, Winter Soldier is kept "on ice" when he's not needed, so it's possible that's how Marvel plans to bring him into the fold. At one point during a story line following the assassination of Rogers, Falcon is asked to hunt down Winter Soldier.

So it looks like a clash between Captain America's past and present is in store (taking place in the modern day), but it's still rather unclear how the film will tie all these characters and potential story lines together. Guess we'll have to trust writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who penned Cap's first adventure as well.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives April 4, 2014.


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