Avengers Star Reveals Marvel’s Limiting Creativity And Controlled Entertainment

By Christopher Isaac | Published

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With the Marvel Cinematic Universe containing some of the most profitable and recognizable movies of all time, there are undoubtedly some strong perks for actors being part of the franchise. Unfortunately, it sounds like creative freedom is not one of them. Anthony Mackie, who plays Sam Wilson/Captain America in the MCU, is poised to return to the big screen. But ahead of Captain America: Brave New World releasing next year, Mackie admits being part of the MCU does not allow much opportunity to try new ideas.

No Going Outside The Lines

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“That’s the hard thing about the Marvel universe. It’s like, you can’t really go outside of the lines of those comic books,” Anthony Mackie said. “You know, when we introduced the Falcon, and the growth of the Falcon to Captain America, all of that had to coincide with what Stan had already gave us.”

MCU fans do not just want to see fun comic book movies, but ones that bring the pages of the comics they remember to life on the screen. When the Marvel movies have veered away from the source material, it has met some strong reactions.

Some changes were welcome, like making the lesser publicly known Guardians of the Galaxy into more of a comedic group. But for heroes with long established backstories, fans can be ardent about the way things should be handled. Anthony Mackie seems very cognizant you have to give the fans what they want.

Twisted Metal

In comparing the MCU experience to his current work on the TV series Twisted Metal, Anthony Mackie makes it sound like night and day. He notes that while Twisted Metal is based on the classic ‘90s games of a tournament of drivers all trying to destroy each other to be the last car driving, that the games don’t have that same level of history to them. He says there is much more freedom to experiment with ideas and adapt characters differently for ways that might work easier in a storytelling medium.

A Blessing And A Curse

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Whereas with Marvel, Anthony Mackie acknowledges that what Stan Lee laid out decades ago will essentially always take precedence. “I would say the Marvel thing is completely different, just because it’s such a space of controlled entertainment,” he said. “There’s only so much creativity you can bring to the table, because Stan Lee gave us so much content.”

Clearly that amount of content is both a boon and an obstacle at times. The movie makers have clear knowledge of which storylines worked well in the comics and that fans would want to see. But then there is also an expectation not to deviate too far from those classic moments.

Patrick Stewart

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Anthony Mackie’s statements seem to align with the experiences of what other Marvel actors have said. Patrick Stewart remarked that for his cameo reprising the role of X-Men’s Professor Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness he was excited to interact with so many of the actors he knew would be in the movie. However, once Stewart was on set, he was disappointed to realize he would be spending a great deal of his time filming alone in front of green screens.

It demonstrates how capturing the desired moments for the movie took precedence over the actors being there to have fun. It seems to echo Mackie’s feeling that the MCU is more regimented than other projects might be.

Captain America: Brave New World

anthony mackie

While Anthony Mackie did speak about what an enjoyable time he had on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that series wound up not getting more than one season. However, with Mackie now set to make his theatrical debut as the new Captain America, it will be interesting to hear if he has any more creative freedom playing the lead in an MCU film.

Captain America: Brave New World will be in theaters on February 14, 2025.

Source: Variety

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