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Anthony Mackie Was Confused by Falcon & Winter Soldier's Original Pitch

Anthony Mackie admits he was initially confused by Marvel's pitch for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Mackie has been a part of the MCU since 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it wasn't until this past spring that he fully stepped into the spotlight. With the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Mackie took his Sam Wilson to new heights in a thoughtful exploration of his characterization and home life. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended with a moment fans had long waited for: Sam accepting the role of Captain America.

Sam was first offered the shield at the end of Avengers: Endgame, when an elderly Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) picked Falcon as his replacement. At the time, Sam was unsure about accepting the job, and much of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was spent watching him grapple with the legacy of the title. Though it was still an action-packed Marvel show at its heart, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier proved to be equally about dissecting the symbol of Captain America, a topic that was quite intriguing.

Related: Why Steve Rogers Didn’t Appear In Falcon & The Winter Soldier

However, when it was first presented to Mackie, he wasn't exactly on board. During a Falcon and the Winter Soldier Q&A with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation (via ComicBook.com), Mackie recalled how the series was originally pitched to him. At the time, it wasn't yet clear how Marvel wanted to proceed with Steve's Captain America successor, so producers Kevin Feige and Nate Moore took an interesting approach to developing the show. And when they presented it to Mackie, he didn't like it much. He said:

"We never talked about that when the pitch of the show came about it. It was more so about the continuation about what was gonna happen with the shield, if it was gonna be Bucky or if it was gonna be Sam. Because 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.

"So it was more so Kevin [Feige] and Nate [Moore] 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. But I wasn’t excited either. I hated the idea. I thought it was gonna be an awful idea. [Laughs]"

Though the concept of unpacking the Captain America legacy proved fruitful for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it sounds like those at Marvel initially didn't quite know how to proceed with that. Mackie has spoken before about his hesitance to sign on to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier because of its format as a television show, but now it's clear that also extended to the first pitch. Luckily, Mackie trusted the creative team and agreed to the series. Though The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was dinged by some for a shaky execution, no one can deny it was an ambitious project that really did tackle what Captain America means to the world.

Mackie will hopefully get to continue exploring Sam's time as Cap with the in-development Captain America 4. The actor isn't officially confirmed to appear in the movie, but it seems unlikely that Marvel would make a movie about Captain America without him. Hopefully, when Marvel courts Mackie for the film, they'll do better with their initial pitch than they did with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

More: How Falcon & Winter Soldier Hid Its Real Villain In Plain Sight

Source: SAG-AFTRA Foundation (via ComicBook.com)

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