Anthony Mackie Doesn't Think 'Black Panther' Needs Black Director, Makes Awkward 'Seabiscuit' Comparison


Ever since a May report that Marvel was courting more diversity in its filmmaking ranks as it prepped its Phase 3 titles Black Panther and Captain Marvel, speculation has been rife on who the studio might tap. Selma director Ava DuVernay acknowledged she was in discussions to direct Black Panther, but not until she told Essence she had opted out of the project. Last week, meanwhile, rumors swirled that Fruitvale Station helmer Ryan Coogler, who like DuVernay is African American, could be in line for the 2017 Black Panther, which stars Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up).

Boseman’s fellow Avenger Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon, doesn’t believe race should be a major factor in determining who should direct Marvel’s first black superhero movie, though. “I don’t think it’s important at all,” Mackie told the Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato. “As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit!.”

That might be some odd equivalence, but let Mackie elaborate: “The thing is I don’t think the race of the director has to do with their ability to tell a story. I think it’s all about the director’s ability to be able to relate to that story and do it justice. I think men can direct women, and two of my greatest work experiences were with female directors. So I think it all depends. May the best man — or woman — win.”

Mackie, who can currently be seen opposite Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton in the political dramedy Our Brand Is Crisis and will help welcome Boseman into the Marvel fold in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War, also told The Daily Beast,“I’m very proud to say that 100 percent of people’s awareness of me comes from my work.”

That could quickly be changing for the actor, though, who’s earning a reputation for colorful, candid — and recently, controversial — interviews. Just see the brouhaha a story that generated from the same round of last weekend’s Crisis press in which BET reported that Mackie was backing Donald Trump for president. “I’m on the bandwagon,” he said of Trump’s campaign. “I’m drinking the Kool-Aid!”

Mackie rescinded the Trump “endorsement” the same day, tweeting that it was “a bad attempt at a joke.” So it will be interesting to see if/how he responds to today’s growing discontent over the perception that he just compared black filmmakers to horses.

Watch Anthony Mackie and Chris Evans talk about a Captain America-Falcon buddy comedy: