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Anthony Mackie is just as in the dark about Captain America 4 as the rest of us. At least, that's what he's saying.
"I literally found out yesterday in a grocery store," Mackie says. "The checkout guy named Dwayne, a cool cat, he's like, 'Yo, man. Is this real?!" [holds up a cellphone] "I'm like, 'I haven't heard anything.' That's what I love about working for Marvel. They call you, they're like, 'Come to L.A. We wanna tell you what's going on.' So, I'm excited to see what happens, but I haven't heard anything."
All signs seem to be pointing to Mackie as the new lead of this movie. The finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revealed that his character, Sam Wilson (the titular Falcon), finally picked up the shield and declared himself to be Captain America, sporting a freshly designed Wakandan flight suit.
"What would be really bad is if the movie [Captain America 4] starts and I get blown out of the sky," Mackie jokes.
The actor also says he hasn't "heard anything about season 2" of the Disney+ series. "It's always great to go to work with Sebastian [Stan]. And Kari [Skogland], our director, was amazing. It would be fun as hell to do."
Marvel Studios Anthony Mackie' Sam Wilson as the new Captain America.
The reality that Mackie is now the official Captain America for the blockbuster franchise hasn't sunk in yet for the actor.
"I don't know what I expected, but it's definitely not what I thought it would be," he says of the finale reveal last Friday. "I guess I foresaw something that was much more celebratory than just being 'Anthony with a new Twitter account.'"
He jokes that he wants a Captain America parade in his home of New Orleans, complete with beads and oysters. But he settled for a cake the crew made for him, one of a small Cap figure on top of a golf course.
"It's the same people I've been working with on these movies for eight years now," he says. "So to go from my first day to now becoming Cap with the same people was really special. Everybody shared in it, from the props team to wardrobe, from the camera department to the people in the office. It was really a collective effort."
Mackie was fully prepared for the Cap suit, consisting of "10 or 12 pieces" — sans the CGI vibranium wings — to leak through a civilian's cellphone camera or paparazzi. He was more shocked that it didn't.
"We were in downtown Atlanta, in the middle of Atlantic Station, surrounded by apartment buildings and condos and doing a huge fight ,sequence and nobody took pictures," he recalls. "It was crazy."
We've now seen Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and John Walker (Wyatt Russell) assume the role of Captain America, but Sam will be different kind of Cap. Mackie points to how the character handled Karli (Erin Kellyman) and the Flag-Smashers.
"It was more so about him talking them down and trying to communicate with them what they were doing was right, but they way they were doing it was wrong," the actor says. "Remember, he's a counselor and he's a regular guy who just happened to become an Avenger. There's no superpowers, there's no super-suit, there's no super-serum. He's just a guy. I love the idea of him moving through life as Captain America, as someone who brings peace and change instead of destruction and physical force."
Perhaps, Mackie quips, when someone recognizes him in a restaurant and declares, "His tab's on me," then this whole experience will sink in. For now, he's still got "Anthony with a new Twitter account."