Franchises Suck, Says Marvel Franchise Star Anthony Mackie
Movie stars under contract are unable to say anything bad about their masters. So says common wisdom, anyway. That's why when Elizabeth Olsen says she regrets missing out on the crazy, excellent film The Lobster because she'd committed to Marvel, people treat this as borderline sedition rather than a totally reasonable point of view. Far more often, we get actors absurdly pledging allegiance, like when four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams called her role in Venom: Let There Be Carnage "an important step" in her growth as an actress.
You can't diss your franchise. You also can't diss China, an enormous market for franchises. "Dissing China," by the way, is a very broad offense that can include even referring to Taiwan as a country, necessitating heartfelt apologies from the actor, delivered in Mandarin.
Then there's Anthony Mackie. In October 2017 (this was a year after his part in Captain America: Civil War, and a year before Avengers: Infinity War) he was at London Film and Comic Con and spoke about what franchises have done to the industry. "There are no movie stars anymore," he said. "Like, Anthony Mackie isn't a movie star. The *Falcon* is a movie star. ... It used to be ... when you went to the movies, you went to see the Stallone movie. You went to see the Schwarzenegger movie. Now you go see X-Men. So the evolution of the super hero has meant the death of the movie star."
Which sounds like personal envy for a level of stardom no one can expect to achieve no matter when they became an actor, but then he elaborated: His complaint was with the resultant damage to movies. "You're now making movies for 16-year-olds and China. That's it. You think about some of your favorite movies growing up, those movies wouldn't get made today."
While that's the sort of thing we at Cracked keep saying, you rarely expect the stars themselves to state the truth so plainly. And while these would be bold enough words even were this some low-profile interview from a journalist who was prodding him into saying this very thing, Mackie was talking to a large Comic Con crowd. "They make movies for specific audiences," he said, speaking to those very audiences, "as opposed to just making good movies. And that's why people stopped going to the movies. Because most of the movies suck."
So what did Mackie's overlords at Disney do to him, following this impudence? Oh, nothing much. Just eventually made him their new Captain America, that's all.
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For more on what he was saying, check out: