“We’re at a drive-in!” Anthony Mackie exclaimed more than once during Marvel Studios and Disney’s Drive-In FYC event at the Rose Bowl Saturday night. Although the star of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” wasn’t there physically, he was committed enough to join in a live Zoom session while inside his own vehicle parked at home.
“I wanted to go out to my driveway and do this Zoom from my car, because I wanted everybody to know I’m sharing this experience with them,” Mackie told the event’s moderator, “Entertainment Tonight” host Nischelle Turner, prompting a wild chorus of appreciative horn-honks.
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There was no shortage of Marvel’s super-powered talent on site, however: “FTWS’s” Carl Lumbly was on stage, joined by creator and showrunner Malcolm Spellman and director Kari Skogland, while “WandaVision’s“ scene-stealer Kathryn Hahn joined creator Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman, and stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany appeared in a pre-taped Zoom session.
“Marvel fans are so extraordinary – I knew it going in and they have not disappointed,” said Hahn, describing the overwhelmingly positive response to “WandaVision.” “I’m very, very tickled and moved by it. It’s been a real, real, beautiful ride… [The show] happened to magically arrive at a moment when we all needed a time, we needed a space to gather in front of the family hearth, which was the television, on a weekly basis and it kind of connected generations. It just unfolded that way.”
Watch: Watch Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan Hilariously Quiz Each Other on Their Avengers Knowledge
Also in attendance was Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who explained how the studio wanted to translate the passion and quality of the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise to television on Disney Plus.
“When this opportunity to do television came up… it really invigorated the whole studio,” said Feige, noting that the two series offered unique, wildly disparate creative opportunities. “With ‘Falcon,’ you have something that can comment on the state of the world and be even more relevant than it was when we started it by the time it aired… [while] ‘WandaVision’ itself is a celebration of this new medium that we are playing in for the first time, but that we all grew up with and we all love.”
An unexpected “WandaVision” side effect? “It’s having new, younger fans check out ‘The Dick van Dyke Show’ and ‘The Brady Bunch’ and all these shows that I’m old enough to take for granted,” Feige added. “’WandaVision’ leading to those series is not something that I anticipated. It makes me very happy!”
The “FTWS” team spoke at length about how adding more of Mackie’s personal qualities — including his reservations about taking up the shield and mantle of Captain America — made Sam Wilson’s evolution more naturalistic and deepened the gravity of his actions, though Mackie revealed that one of his suggestions just missed making into the final episode’s moving monologue.
“With all of the protests and everything that went on in 2020, there were just as many Brown people as Black people as white people as Asian people. Everyone, everyone in this country at this time wants to see a change, and that monologue sums that up a beautiful way,” said Mackie to another ovations of beeps. “One thing I wanted to put at the end of the monologue — and it got shot down — was if we’re going to ‘make America great again,’ it has to be done by Americans. And no matter what your race, creed, color or sexuality is, you’re an American. And that’s what I think the new Captain America captures.”
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