With the release of on Disney+, two or Marvel’s most recognizable superheroes are getting the opportunity to shine like never before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the franchise’s leading characters–those with movies named after them–have gotten ample time to have their personal lives and issues explored, now Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) are getting their shot.
That exploration means different things for the two characters, though. For Sam, it’s about his roots. “It was crucial, right? Because we needed to have a backstory that would make his journey about rebuking [Captain America’s] shield compelling,” writer Malcolm Spellman told GameSpot. “And we needed him to come from a certain amount of stuff–a very, very specifically black existence.”
That experience, which includes the introduction of Sam’s sister as played by Adepero Oduye, was partially borrowed from Mackie’s own life. “Anthony Mackie is from Louisiana and understands what it’s like to be a Black man in the south,” the writer explained. “We blended that with different iterations of the book but the intention being having him rooted in a black experience–a southern Black experience–in a way that would make this journey fraught for him.”
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