Black Mirror season 5: casting Marvel’s Anthony Mackie and other comic book movie actors

One episode of Black Mirror season 5 is bursting with MCU and DC actors. Was it deliberate?

In a geek gathering to rival any number of Doctor Who anniversary eps, a single episode of Black Mirror season five – Striking Vipers – brings together the MCU’s Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), with Black Manta from DC’s Aquaman (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and the Black Ranger from Power Rangers (Ludi Lin).

That many comic book movie actors in one place must have been deliberate, mustn’t it? Den Of Geek asked Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones…

Charlie Brooker No, it wasn’t!

Annabel Jones You mean, with forethought and being organised?

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CB And Pom is in there as well…

AJ From Guardians Of The Galaxy.

CB No.

AJ [Laughs] We are not that savvy.

CB We don’t have that foresight so that’s just a kind of happy accident of casting, which is quite odd isn’t it? It’s quite astonishing really.

AJ I’m a huge fan of Anthony Mackie’s work. When I saw him ages ago in The Hurt Locker, he just has that ability to embody … he very easily does the alpha male thing, and yet then he has these wonderful moments when he just exposes his vulnerability and then he bristles again and it comes to the fore. He lets you in and then reasserts himself in ways that just…

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CB You sound like you’re in a relationship with him!

AJ I am!

CB These are like song lyrics you’re coming up with [sings] ‘He’s like the wiiiiind’

AJ [Singing] ‘Beneath my wiiiiings!’

CB [Still singing] ‘He’s a fucking mystery. He shuts you ooout then he lets you in ooh-ohh Anthony Mackie! My friend’ [Laughs. Loudly.]

AJ This is how we get our A-listers, this sort of approach.

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CB [Still chortling]

Black Mirror season five arrives on Netflix on Wednesday the 5th of June.