1:17pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Anthony Mackie Doesn't Care If 'Black Panther' Director Is Black: "They Didn’t Get a Horse to Direct 'Seabiscuit' "
Unlike many fans, Anthony Mackie — AKA the Falcon in Marvel's Captain America and Avengers movies — isn't concerned whether or not the studio hires an African American director to take charge of its first black superhero movie, 2018's Black Panther.
"I don’t think it’s important at all," the actor told The Daily Beast during a promotional appearance for his current project, Our Brand is Crisis. "As a director your job is to tell a story," he continued. "You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit!"
Mackie went on to say that he doesn't believe that the race of a director "has to do with their ability to tell a story," adding, "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."
At one point, Selma director Ava DuVernay was in the mix to take on Black Panther, which features Chadwick Boseman in the title role, before dropping out because she didn't "see eye to eye" with Marvel over the direction of the project. The studio is in negotiations with Joe Robert Cole to write the movie. In related news, Marvel's publishing arm announced last month that MacArthur "Genius" grant winner Ta-Nehisi Coates will write its new Black Panther comic book, launching in January.
The comments, which have already drawn criticism on social media, put the actor in hot water for the second time this week. An interview with BET on Monday, in which he appeared to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, required a hasty takeback on Twitter after fan complaints.