This week, actor Anthony Mackie dominated headlines with his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The endorsement was later revealed to be a failed joke by the actor.
However, the actor has recently found himself in hot water again. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Mackie was asked if the upcoming Black Panther film should have a Black director.
“I don’t think it’s important at all,” he said. “As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit! The thing is I don’t think the race of the director has to do with their ability to tell a story. 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. May the best man—or woman—win.”
Mackie must not be aware that Marvel films often tap directors who come from other genres.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn came from independent cinema before landing the big gig. Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s directors, the Russo brothers, directed mainly comedies before landing the job. Marvel has taken risks before, why not now ?
If directors like Antoine Fuqua, Rick Famuyiwa, Ernest Dickerson or any other major Black director working in Hollywood was in consideration, they would be more qualified than their white counterparts.
Mackie plays The Falcon, one of four Black characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but fails to see that the movies do not reflect the diversity of the comics they portray.
Interestingly enough, Mackie’s ideas about the directing job contrasts greatly with Marvel Studios executive Kevin Fiege, who has said he’d like to see Black people on both sides of the camera. His sincerity about diversity was proven when writer-director Joe Robert Cole was tapped to pen the script for the film. If Marvel decides to go with a non-Black director for its first Black super hero film, fans will go ballistic and the media backlash would be uncontrollable.
Thankfully, the final decision ultimately lies with Fiege not Mackie.
Black Panther will hit screens in 2018.