In a Newsday interview last week, actor Anthony Mackie (who plays Sam Wilson, also known as The Falcon, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) revealed that he's taking the film seriously and is excited about the prospect of becoming the first African-American superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (War Machine, presumably, doesn't count since he doesn't have powers and really just took somebody else's costume idea).
The star, who has appeared in movies ranging from The Hurt Locker to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, also gave a deeply personal reason why playing Wilson is so important to him.
Explaining the role to Newsday, Mackie said, "I'm playing the Falcon. He's this guy in Harlem who moved to California and became a drug dealer. His plane crashed, and he was genetically altered, and he can fly, has telepathic powers. He's the first African-American superhero. It makes me feel all the work I've done has been paying off. I have a son, nephews and nieces, and I love the idea that they can dress up as the Falcon on Halloween. They now have someone they can idolize. That's a huge honor for me."
Of course, the minute he points that out, fans will likely point out that there have been persistent rumors of a Black Panther movie, and while Mackie may be kicking the door open, it's entirely possible another actor will be the first African-American actor to headline his own Marvel Studios film. That movie, which is rumored to be the next solo, non-sequel movie on Marvel's development slate, may be announced for as early as 2015.