Loki and Scarlet Witch won’t be the only characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make the leap from the big screen to the Disney+ streaming service. Avengers teammates Falcon and the Winter Soldier are also getting their own show — appropriately titled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Marvel franchise actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will reprise the roles of Falcon and Winter Soldier, respectively, for the live-action series set within the MCU. Due to production delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled to premiere in 2021, long after the original August 2020 release date that was initially announced for the series. Here’s everything we know so far.
Premiere date unknown
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Although former Disney CEO Bob Iger initially said The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would premiere in August 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown that schedule into limbo.
In July, Disney released its schedule of programming for Disney+ in August, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was nowhere to be seen on the list. A few months later, Disney+ updated its own listing for the series and indicated that it’s “coming in 2021.” Exactly when in 2021 the show will premiere remains unknown.
An X-Men tie-in?
A Murphy’s Multiverse report suggests that a June set photo from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier depicts a re-creation of Madripoor, the fictional Southeast Asian island from Marvel comics that’s often described as a haven for criminals.
Madripoor em novas imagens de THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. pic.twitter.com/QRRN64MLu7
— Nação Marvel ✊???? (@NacaoMarvell) May 8, 2020
The report explains that the photo was taken during shoots in Griffin, Georgia, in which a biker gang harasses the show’s titular heroes. What’s more intriguing, however, is the logo on one actor’s jacket. MCU Direct notes that it bears a striking resemblance to X-Men villain Ogun, a deadly ninja and chief antagonist of the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries.
We were all excited by recent news Paul Bettany had to cancel a July comiccon due to WandaVision filming. I've just learned that #Loki and #FalconAndtheWinterSoldier are also expected to continue filming in July. This is a new source for me & I must keep it anon but I believe it! pic.twitter.com/nayj453ZaI
— Liz (@MsLizzieHill) June 5, 2020
Production in the Czech Republic was paused due to coronavirus concerns, according to a Deadline report. The cast and crew returned to Atlanta after Disney halted production on March 10. According to entertainment reporter Liz Hill, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has now been cleared to resume filming in July. Disney never confirmed the report, however.
Instead, it wasn’t until September 15 that we had true confirmation that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is in fact back in production, well after its initially planned August release date. Anthony Mackie released this photo from the socially distant set:
— Anthony Mackie (@AnthonyMackie) September 15, 2020
TV made like a movie
In an in-depth interview with The Hollywood Reporter, star Sebastian Stan revealed some new details about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and offered some context about what to expect when the series hits Disney+ this summer.
“In a lot of ways, it felt like a movie,” Stan said of the production process. “What I loved about it was that, tonally, it was very much in the same world that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, which was one of my favorite experiences that I’ve ever had, period. So, in a sense, it was grounded and very much in the world as we know it. But, it’s also really jam-packed with a lot of massive, massive action scenes mixed with deep focus on character. These characters are getting so much more mileage for all of us to explore them. We can put them in situations that we’ve never been able to put them in before because you now have six hours as opposed to two.”
Anthony Mackie echoed that sentiment in a June interview with Variety. “We’re shooting [The Falcon and the Winter Soldier] exactly like a movie,” he said. “Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show. So instead of a two-hour movie, a six- or eight-hour movie. It was the same group of people, coming together to make it work. And so the stunt stuff — everything is just on another level. Every show, every movie, they just push it — they push the envelope so much.”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is considered by many to be one of the highest points in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, striking a political, introspective tone that speaks to government paranoia and the need for control. Those are big shoes to fill, but Stan and Mackie both seem confident.
Stan also clarified what happens for Bucky Barnes in that pivotal farewell with Steve Rogers at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
“Where we arrived with [Bucky] at the end felt more like he was in a place with a desire for some sort of release: To start over, start life again in a way, find out who he is again on his own and leave all this behind,” Stan said. “That’s where I felt like the character was at the end of Avengers: Endgame. It’s also what he wanted for Steve. Like anybody that ends up traumatized by a war experience, he was affected by it for the rest of his life. So, what felt like a desire there was for a restart — for him and for Steve in a way.
“It didn’t necessarily feel like the shield was gonna be that. Steve going back in time and saying, ‘I’m gonna take something for me now. I’ve been here for all these guys, and I’ve done the best I could. I’m just a man, and I’m going to go back and try to live my life.’ I feel that is something that Bucky would want for his best friend, and at the same time, Steve is saying to Bucky, ‘You’re going to go and do that, too. I’m not going to put this thing on you. We’re both going to live our lives — the lives that were actually taken from us back in the ’40s when we enlisted.’”
If you thought Bucky and Sam Wilson would have some tension after Captain America enlisted Sam as the next Captain America, it seems that’s not the case. This Bucky was never interested in Captain America’s shield. Rather, he just wants to live his life and continue learning what it means to be a superhero in this future he’s still not acclimated to — much like earlier versions of Captain America.
Super Bowl spot
Disney teased several upcoming shows for its Disney+ streaming platform, including The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Loki, and WandaVision, in a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LIV on February 2. Beginning with Anthony Mackie’s Falcon pulling Captain America’s famous shield — bequeathed to him in Avengers: Endgame — from a tree after apparently doing some target practice, Falcon declares, “It’s time.” From there, we get a look at Falcon in pursuit of some bad guys in flight suits and quick-cut looks at the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), as well as villain Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) returning to villainy after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
The heroes’ new look
A poster for the series that debuted during Disney’s D23 Expo offered the first look at Falcon’s new, Captain America-inspired suit for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as well as how Winter Soldier will appear in the show.
???? | The first poster of Disney+ new series “Falcon and The Winter Soldier”! pic.twitter.com/Ef1A988wa0
— Sebastian Stan Updates (@TheSebNews) August 25, 2019
Falcon’s new look clearly has a bit more red, white, and blue in it than previous iterations of his costume, while Winter Soldier appears to have received a haircut since his last appearance in Avengers: Endgame.
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will reprise their roles (as Falcon and Winter Soldier, respectively) in what is expected to be a bit of an odd-couple adventure for the two characters.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will unfold in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame and Steve Rogers’ decision to turn over his shield — and with it, the mantle of Captain America — to Falcon. The show will explore what it’s like for the two characters to continue doing what they do in a world without the original Captain America.
Joining Mackie and Stan in the cast will be more familiar faces, with Emily VanCamp and Daniel Brühl both set to reprise their roles as Sharon Carter and Baron Helmut Zemo, respectively. In addition, Disney announced at the D23 Expo that Falcon and The Winter Soldier will introduce John Walker, aka U.S. Agent, a Captain America-esque supersoldier whose hardline approach to fighting crime makes him much more dangerous than Steve Rogers. In the series, John Walker will be played by Wyatt Russell.
Logo and timeline revealed
During Marvel’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, the studio revealed its Phase 4 plans for the MCU, which included the expected premiere date for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
— Dustin Sandoval (@DustinMSandoval) July 21, 2019
The studio initially had the series scheduled to debut on Disney+ in fall 2020, sandwiched between the theatrical premiere of Black Widow in May and The Eternals in November.
The official logo for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was also revealed during the panel.
Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, an original series with Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Daniel Brühl. Streaming exclusively on Disney+, Fall 2020. pic.twitter.com/FmFMKWUrhO
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 21, 2019
After making his surprise debut in Captain America: Civil War, Brühl will return as Baron Helmut Zemo in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
While Brühl’s performance in Civil War was praised (if somewhat overshadowed by the larger Hydra conspiracy plot), many Marvel Comics fans noted that the film didn’t feature anything resembling Baron Zemo’s traditional look from his comic-book history. That doesn’t appear to be an issue with the series, though, as Brühl posted a pair of photos of himself in July wearing an outfit and mask similar to the one worn by his comics counterpart.
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„Longing, Rusted, Seventeen, Daybreak, Furnace, Nine, Benign, Homecoming, One, Freight Car.“ Zemo is getting ready #SDCC @comic_con @marvel @marvelstudios
Speaking with Collider in July, Brühl said he was happy to see the Baron Zemo mask for the first time.
“I remember that Kari Skogland, the director, came to Budapest and we recorded something with me being Zemo, and I was very happy and enthusiastic to see the mask,” he said. “I was incredibly thrilled to go back [to Marvel] because I remember that I had a lot of fun being in something completely different and getting to explore the MCU and become part of that. I have the fondest memories of collaborating with all of these wonderful actors, and to see Sebastian Stan again, and Anthony Mackie, this time around, and to come back to something which, on the one hand, felt common and known, and on the other hand, being something completely new and something fresh.”
Behind the camera
In October 2018, Marvel announced its first behind-the-camera hire for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, with Empire writer Malcolm Spellman attached to pen the script for the series. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will also take a more active role in the series than he typically does in Marvel’s television projects, serving as a producer on the show.
Kari Skogland, who directed episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Walking Dead, was confirmed to direct all six episodes of the show’s debut season.
Both Falcon and Winter Soldier made their debuts in installments of the Captain America solo series for Marvel Studios, with Stan appearing first as Steve Rogers’ childhood friend James “Bucky” Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger and later as Winter Soldier in the aptly titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
A former soldier during World War II, Barnes was captured by the evil Hydra organization, brainwashed, given a powerful cybernetic arm to replace the one he lost in the war, and trained as an assassin. He was kept in cryogenic storage between missions for Hydra, which explains how he remained young over the years, and after a confrontation in the modern era with his former friend Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Winter Soldier regained his memories and helped Captain America and the Avengers in subsequent films.
As for Mackie and his MCU character, Falcon also made his debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A former Air Force airman, Sam Wilson assisted Steve Rogers in tracking down Winter Soldier through the use of a powerful suit that gave him wings and other high-tech tools. He later fought alongside Captain America in Captain America: Civil War and subsequent adventures with the Avengers.