Anthony Mackie Could Be Falcon

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Things are really getting moving on the Captain America sequel front: Marvel revealed last month that Joe and Anthony Russo would be directing the movie, and the company followed that up this weekend at Comic-Con, announcing that the film would be called Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Today it has gone one better, bringing word via The Hollywood Reporter that Anthony Mackie is in talks to play Falcon.

With the new title comes plenty of fodder for speculation that the sequel is built around the return of Cap’s best pal and sidekick Bucky Barnes (as played by Sebastian Stan in the first movie), last seen plummeting to a snowy doom from a speeding train winding its away around a mountain. Though the comics run had Bucky returning as a brainwashed Russian agent called the Winter Soldier, it’s more likely that the character will have a slightly different origin in the sequel.

Falcon, meanwhile, is the alter ego of Sam Wilson, one of mainstream comics’ earliest black superheroes. First appearing in September 1969, he went on to work alongside Steve Rogers using a special suit that gave him enhanced strength, the power to fly and the ability to telepathically talk to birds. While this idea – birds of prey helping out in a battle – is naturally cinematic in a way that Alfred Hitchcock could only dream about, we also have a vision of him sending a flock of pigeons to crap on the bad guys’ cars. We’d expect Wilson’s origin to also get a tweak in the movie written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Assuming he signs, Mackie should be a fine addition to the cast, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier will march to our cinemas on April 4, 2014. The actor is currently on screens in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and will next be seen in Gangster Squad, due November 9.