The advent of Disney Plus has allowed the Marvel Cinematic Universe to tackle several weighty themes that the all-conquering franchise had never really explored on the big screen before. At the end of the day, while both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are still mega budget superhero shows, the former was a surprisingly complex examination of one woman’s grief, and the latter was socially conscious and politically charged in its explorations of legacy and race.
Without box office returns to worry about, the respective creative teams behind all of the MCU’s streaming exclusives are free, if not actively encouraged, to tackle some serious subject matter, something that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s lead writer Malcolm Spellman admitted was key for him when he was developing the story.
It was evidently of the utmost importance to Anthony Mackie as well, with the actor being fully aware of the expectations that come with touching on such topical matters while also assuming the mantle of America’s resident star-spangled superhero. In fact, in a new interview, Mackie revealed that he wanted his final speech to include a reference to Home Alone 2 star Donald Trump, but his request was denied.
“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. 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.”
At the end of the day, it was definitely the right call from Marvel to veto any direct acknowledgement towards the reality TV host and WWE Hall of Famer. The studio remains publicly apolitical, and within the context of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it wouldn’t make sense as anything other than an overt wink towards the audience. Not only that, but you can guarantee it would have invited no shortage of backlash and fury among certain sections of the fanbase, which clearly wasn’t worth it for the top brass for just a single line of dialogue.