Anthony Mackie is the new Captain America. (Spoilers if you haven’t seen “Avengers: Endgame.”) And with that title, as we saw with Chris Evans morphing into the real-life Steve Rogers after playing the character for a decade, it appears that Mackie is embracing the role of real-life superhero, trying to fix the issues that plague society. As you might expect, that begins at home, as the actor has his sights set on Marvel Studios as a company that needs to do better to help show the world how Hollywood can be more inclusive and diverse.
Speaking to Variety, Mackie spoke about the future of Hollywood when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. And though he’s clearly pleased to be working with Marvel, he thinks that change should start at home and he’s noticed that his own backyard is filled with some glaring issues.
“It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, ever stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white,” Mackie said.
“We’ve had one Black producer; his name was Nate Moore,” Mackie added. “He produced ‘Black Panther.’ But then when you do ‘Black Panther,’ you have a Black director, Black producer, a Black costume designer, a Black stunt choreographer. And I’m like, that’s more racist than anything else. Because if you only can hire the Black people for the Black movie, are you saying they’re not good enough when you have a mostly white cast?”
Ultimately, Mackie isn’t saying that Marvel Studios is a racist studio that is on the wrong side of history. He’s just saying that the studio, like most others, has to do a better job in the future to be more inclusive and diverse. This is something that Kevin Feige has been saying now for a while, as well.
“My big push with Marvel is hire the best person for the job,” Mackie explained. “Even if it means we’re going to get the best two women, we’re going to get the best two men. Fine. I’m cool with those numbers for the next 10 years. Because it starts to build a new generation of people who can put something on their résumé to get them other jobs. If we’ve got to divvy out as a percentage, divvy it out. And that’s something as leading men that we can go in and push for.”
Of course, Mackie’s time with Marvel Studios is hardly coming to an end anytime soon. In fact, if nothing else, the actor’s status in the MCU is becoming more important than ever before, as seen at the end of “Avengers: Endgame,” where he takes on the mantle of Captain America. This is an issue that will be at the forefront of the upcoming Disney+ series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
And in regards to that upcoming series, which has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mackie said the series production isn’t like a typical TV show. Instead, ‘Falcon & Winter Soldier’ feels more like an extra-long film.
“We’re shooting it exactly like a movie,” he said. “Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show. So instead of a two-hour movie, a six or eight-hour movie.”
The series was expected to debut in August on Disney+. However, with the pandemic and the fact that production was halted months ago, it appears that Marvel Studios’ series will have to be pushed back. Though a new release date has yet to be announced, it’s unclear if we’ll see “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” before the end of the year.