Marvel Studios announced the full title of the next Captain America movie at San Diego Comic-Con International this weekend -- Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- but didn't go into any other details, like, for example, if Cap would be joined by any of his long-time allies from the comics. Now, E! News is reporting that actor Anthony Mackie is apparently in talks to play The Falcon in the upcoming film.Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, and made his debut in 1969's Captain America #117, becoming Marvel's first African-American superhero (He's pre-dated by the Black Panther, but T'Challa is, of course, African rather than African-American). His costume and powers have varied over the years, and when he debuted he was wearing an unfortunate green outfit open to the navel, but he usually wears a red and white costume, flies with the aid of artificial wings and has a mental link to his pet falcon, Redwing.

He shared Captain America's book, which was retitled Captain America and The Falcon, through the bulk of the '70s.

How exactly the character might fit into the next film is, at this point, anyone's guess. The sub-title comes from the Ed Brubaker written story of the mid-aughts, in which Cap (and readers) learned that his sidekick Bucky Barnes had survived his supposed death near the end of World War II, and was living as a brainwashed, robot-armed assassin serving the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. "Winter Soldier" was his code name. Given that movie Bucky seemingly fell to his death in last year's Captain America: The First Avenger, the sequel could easily extrapolate its plot from Brubaker's run on the comic book.

But if Falcon appears, he would have to be introduced, as movie Cap has only been un-frozen for the length of the plot of The Avengers... and the last few minutes of his first movie. It may be worth noting that in Marvel's Ultimate Universe, which so heavily inspired Captain America and The Avengers, The Falcon was first introduced as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mackie was most recently seen playing sidekick to action movie star Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but he's probably best known for his role in The Hurt Locker. He's also appeared in Real Steel, The Adjustment Bureau, We Are Marshall and Notorious, in which he played Tupac.

If E!'s source is solid, and The Falcon does appear in The Winter Soldier, that might mean the character will be eligible to join up in an Avengers movie sequel. After all, Black Widow and Hawkeye were both introduced into Marvel's movie-verse with supporting roles in other Avengers' movies.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently planned for a 2014 release.

[Via E!]

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