Mackie Says "I Don't Think It's Important" for "Black Panther" Director To Be Black

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" star Anthony Mackie says that as far as he's concerned, the race of whomever directs Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" film is irrelevant. In a recent interview, the actor stated that race has nothing to do with the ability to tell a story, and he simply hopes the best candidate wins the job.

"I don't think it's important at all," Mackie told The Daily Beast. "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."

Ava DuVernay was originally offered the position of director, but declined as she and the studio couldn't see eye-to-eye on the project. "Straight Outta Compton's" F. Gary Gray was also considered before he took on "Fast and Furious 8" instead. The latest report claims Marvel Studios is pursuing "Fruitvale Station" director Ryan Coogler to helm the film.

So far, the only sure thing about "Black Panther" is its lead, Chadwick Boseman. No other actors have been cast for the film, although Andy Serkis is expected to reprise his "Avengers: Age of Ultron" role of Ulysses Klaue, a character known for being a Black Panther foe in the comics.

Black Panther will make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War" before headlining his own film on February 16, 2018.

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