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For years, and just a few years ago, Mackie dreamed of playing Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman eventually landed the role, signing a five-picture deal). But despite his interest in the character, and perhaps because of his investment in the company, he shies away from joining in on the call to hire an African American helmer behind the camera on the MCU’s first standalone black superhero movie.

“I don’t think it’s important at all,” he says. “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.”

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