Comics On TV

Everything We Know About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

MCU Phase 4–tied series' release is now listed as "fall 2020" on Disney and Marvel websites. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their Avengers roles from Marvel's blockbuster superhero films in the Disney+ series.

by | June 11, 2020 | Comments

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios’ first foray into television, is a six-episode limited series featuring two of the Captain America films’ best supporting characters: Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) — aka Falcon — and James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the infamous Winter Solider. The duo remain together despite their initial antipathy, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see them in another adventure.

Of course, as the first of the studio’s ambitious plans for content on the Disney+ streaming service, all eyes are on the series to deliver action, suspense, laughs, and at least one or two answers to questions left dangling from Avengers: Endgame. So let’s take a look at everything we know about the series so far and what it could mean for the television aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4.


When Does The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Premiere?

The series was initially slated to debut in August 2020 and follow Disney+’s customary release pattern with one new episode per week for the six-week run. The title, along with its MCU series brethren WandaVision and Loki, was among the first productions to shut down in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in March. Since then, there has been little information about the series’ debut; that is, until small notes in the Disney.com and Marvel.com descriptions of the series quietly appeared:

“Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The all-new series is directed by Kari Skogland; Malcolm Spellman is the head writer. Coming Fall 2020.

The program is still considered a limited series, so do not expect a second season to be forthcoming. Although, you never know what tricks Marvel may pull to turn its limited series plans into ongoing prestige programs. And even if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier remains a one-off event, Marvel has plans for many more series in the works.


When Does The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Take Place?

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, US character poster, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, 2018. © Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, US character poster, Sebastian Stan as White Wolf, 2018. © Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
(Photo by © Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

As with seemingly all of the announced Disney+ shows, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will occur sometime after Endgame. How much later is still up for debate and that span of time is important for an number of reasons. For one: both Sam and Bucky were snapped away in Avengers: Infinity War and presumed dead for five years. They will have to re-establish themselves as living persons. And while this may be difficult for Sam, it will be a nightmare for Bucky — he’s been legally dead since the 1940s!

Also, he’s still a wanted criminal for his activities as the mind-controlled Winter Soldier. Though one imagines the Avengers may have smoothed over some of that following the Endgame battle. If that turns out to be the case, both Sam and Bucky still face acclimating to a world which moved on without them. It’s something Spider-Man: Far From Home glossed over, but feels like prime material for a limited-run television series.

It might also be the place to establish what the Avengers look like post-Endgame. Well, provided they exist in any form. Are Sam and Bucky involved in their activities or are they, as it always seems, on their own?


What Is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier About?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, Anthony Mackie, 2014. ph: Zade Rosenthal/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

Beyond the aspects of the post-Endgame MCU we’d like to see clarified, the show will revolve around Sam’s decision to take over the as Captain America from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). His feelings on the matter are complicated, naturally enough, and that character-driven choice is the sort of thing Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wants the Marvel Studios television shows to focus on.

“Disney+ is going to give us this opportunity to tell even deeper stories on characters you already know and love … in a new type of cinematic way that we haven’t done before,” Feige said at CCXP19.

Making things tougher for Sam, the U.S. government appears to be less than thrilled with Steve’s choice to give him the vibranium shield. In lieu of Sam, John Walker (Wyatt Russell) appears to be their preferred choice. The character is based on the Marvel Comics antihero and sometimes-villain U.S. Agent. Initially presented as a foe for Captain America, Walker took over the heroic identity for a time and served on superhero teams like the Great Lakes Avengers as U.S. Agent. His complicated past leads us to suspect his MCU counterpart will have an equally difficult path, which will no doubt lead him into fighting Sam before they potentially team up to fight a more shadowy enemy.

Also, because of Walker’s affiliations in the comics, we expect The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will also address the state of the Sokovia Accords and whether or not costume heroes have to register with the government.

Of course, it still leaves us with the central question: Will Sam become Captain America? He did for a time in the pages of Marvel Comics, so it is a possibility. But it is also possible the question will remain unresolved by the end of the series.


Who Else Stars in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailer screencap Daniel Bruhl (Disney+)
(Photo by Disney+)

Outside of the title characters and Russell as Walker, the series will feature the return of Captain America film series characters Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl, pictured). As revealed back at SDCC 2019, Zemo will wear the comic book character’s famed purple mask. But other details of his appearance and current circumstances are unclear. Is he the real mastermind behind the government’s skepticism toward Sam? Will he try to activate Bucky to break him out of jail? Did he get snapped or did he live those five years? The material Marvel and Disney+ have unveiled to date leaves that last question very much up in the air, but it is possible his new fashion sense comes from years in isolation.

And considering his rather complicated lineage in the comics, it is possible the series may devote some time to him discovering a forgotten claim to a Sokovian barony. Although, the MCU Zemo strikes us as a “smash the aristocracy” type and any sort of noble lineage may be his secret shame.

VanCamp’s return as Sharon Carter may represent the closest tie the overarching Phase 4 story. On the run since Captain America: Civil War (although she was counted among the lost during the five-year gap), it is possible she found her way back to S.H.I.E.L.D. – an organization whose status definitely needs to be clarified in the MCU with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ending this summer – or contacted Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and hooked up with his secret space force. As we remain hopeful S.W.O.R.D. (an extra-planetary defense force dedicated to keeping Earth safe from aliens) will be introduced in Phase 4, her story could be an opportunity to establish it and its role. Beyond those things, though, the series also presents the opportunity for Sharon to actually have a story all her own.

Other actors joining the MCU with the series include Adepero Oduye, Desmond Chiam, Miki Ishikawa, Noah Mills, and Carl Lumbly is still-classified roles; although, knowing Marvel, we will probably know their character names by the release of Black Widow later this April.


Who Is Writing and Directing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Head writer Malcolm Spellman of 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier' took part today in the Disney+ Showcase at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019 in Anaheim, Calif. 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier' will stream exclusively on Disney+, which launches November 12. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Orchestrating Sam and Bucky’s next journey is Malcolm Spellman, a veteran of the television series Empire. He also, curiously enough, wrote The Sopranos: Road to Respect video game. He serves as showrunner and head writer, while Kari Skogland takes on the task of directing all six episodes. With a resume which includes episodes of Family Law, Boardwalk Empire, Vikings, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Punisher, she seems well-suited to the task. John Wick writer Derek Kolstad is also a member of the writing team.

Filming began in October 2019 in Atlanta, home of various Marvel productions like the more recent Avengers films and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The series planned to move to Arecibo, Puerto Rico, in January, but earthquakes delayed the scheduled shooting. Currently, the production is shooting material in Prague.


How Else Does The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Connect to the MCU?

Taskmaster in Black Widow trailer (Marvel Studios)
(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Beyond the obvious ties to various MCU films by way of casting and plot, The Falcon and the Winter Solider may offer other connections to projects or added greater depth to the ongoing metanarrative.

In the Marvel Comics universe, Taskmaster trained John Walker, making him a formidable opponent to anyone he crossed. The character is set to make his debut in Black Widow and could, theoretically, be partly responsible for Walker’s training in the show. Of course, as the film is set shortly after Civil War, Taskmaster would have to survive the plot to be around and train U.S. Agent. Granted, Walker could’ve been in training prior to Black Widow as well.

As it happens, Walker often worked for the Commission on Superhuman Activities, a presidential taskforce aimed at supervising American superheroes, in the comics. They have a far reach and could potentially debut in the series as a new pressure for Sam and Bucky, but also for film heroes like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

And since Walker’s arrival into the MCU creates so many possibilities, could a Great Lakes Avengers series be far behind? The often comical adventures of, to be frank, second-string heroes would be an interesting place for Marvel to go with television. In fact, it would allow them to build an ongoing series with a new set of characters while continuing to make limited-run programs with the more expensive film stars.


Tag Cloud

versus El Rey indiana jones nfl Star Wars animated Film Festival Lifetime Christmas movies italian Trophy Talk archives Cosplay spain book zombie DGA Countdown Hulu natural history discovery ABC Family RT History Syfy Spectrum Originals OWN Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cinemax mission: impossible renewed TV shows Disney Channel Fantasy dceu cars halloween news HBO Freeform Dark Horse Comics foreign Arrowverse universal monsters IFC Films doctor who Emmy Nominations The Academy strong female leads Mary Tyler Moore tv talk Winter TV Kids & Family Set visit cartoon CBS PBS Endgame CMT Schedule Crackle AMC south america Quiz SDCC talk show romance police drama television YouTube Premium The Purge GIFs Cannes harry potter Warner Bros. Epix Netflix casting Acorn TV Hallmark Christmas movies Disney streaming service dc spanish screen actors guild stop motion satire Polls and Games Tarantino PlayStation TCA medical drama The Witch Women's History Month criterion Photos movies Comedy Central movie Interview breaking bad Shondaland cults 72 Emmy Awards canceled TV shows FX on Hulu Emmys kids blaxploitation comiccon Grammys cooking emmy awards LGBT worst movies Mindy Kaling zombies CW Seed Food Network ABC Marvel Studios travel thriller FX asian-american Hallmark Action Logo space rotten Captain marvel First Look facebook Best and Worst Awards children's TV BBC America singing competition Pop Anna Paquin Elton John ITV documentary biography Television Critics Association BBC Writers Guild of America Podcast NYCC Amazon nature robots witnail justice league Television Academy Pride Month TCA 2017 sag awards reviews CNN Ghostbusters Paramount Network Avengers TCA Awards Spring TV Pixar Apple TV+ anime obituary cancelled TV shows Ovation Classic Film Nickelodeon Creative Arts Emmys Biopics Disney+ Disney Plus Teen Columbia Pictures Bravo The Walking Dead A&E social media TruTV 71st Emmy Awards cats reboot child's play Character Guide Fox News Travel Channel Rom-Com RT21 FOX TCA Winter 2020 cancelled Pirates spider-man transformers joker GLAAD Super Bowl Amazon Prime Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper NBC game of thrones elevated horror franchise Esquire nbcuniversal laika Reality Competition serial killer TV Land Star Trek zero dark thirty video on demand hollywood CBS All Access romantic comedy VOD Black Mirror sitcom Winners chucky cancelled TV series OneApp finale ghosts 2016 composers die hard MCU binge war Turner Classic Movies rotten movies we love History USA Network 2015 technology dragons Thanksgiving films Holidays MTV latino comic Comic Book Walt Disney Pictures 2019 20th Century Fox BBC One boxoffice crime ESPN Disney Plus HBO Max Music stoner Horror Amazon Studios revenge adaptation President superhero Lucasfilm independent Heroines Sundance spy thriller Sundance TV San Diego Comic-Con Toys science fiction Spike VICE unscripted Awards Tour DC Comics Western dramedy IFC E! psycho canceled Rocketman christmas movies richard e. Grant anthology toronto teaser Song of Ice and Fire jamie lee curtis Marvel Television stand-up comedy disaster Extras 4/20 2017 BET Awards dogs all-time historical drama Pop TV parents Certified Fresh YouTube psychological thriller Red Carpet 2018 screenings 24 frames Lionsgate BAFTA ratings Superheroe golden globes Stephen King theme song football Peacock FXX PaleyFest See It Skip It 45 comedies Binge Guide critics Marvel politics Reality Netflix Christmas movies APB Apple TV Plus Superheroes SXSW Trivia crossover Amazon Prime Video The Arrangement Britbox BET Apple GoT A24 fast and furious Academy Awards Animation Hear Us Out Mary Poppins Returns YA french festival Showtime sequel Chernobyl worst classics DirecTV crime drama japanese Black History Month spinoff Sundance Now Masterpiece Country political drama mockumentary docudrama Martial Arts period drama comics game show directors Sci-Fi YouTube Red Tomatazos true crime Holiday Calendar TV Film Tubi TNT what to watch scary movies 007 award winner Mudbound indie batman twilight quibi Musical Sneak Peek 21st Century Fox Funimation Universal TCM werewolf LGBTQ National Geographic Year in Review Marathons 2020 Rocky Mary poppins Tumblr slashers series Valentine's Day venice toy story hispanic concert free movies Election Crunchyroll Comics on TV First Reviews Pet Sematary Disney Nat Geo halloween tv Premiere Dates Mystery remakes Box Office Fall TV Lifetime Christmas hist Rock a nightmare on elm street MSNBC Shudder diversity Discovery Channel Nominations Vudu Baby Yoda scorecard Brie Larson The CW TV renewals TIFF cancelled television adventure Infographic USA TLC Watching Series documentaries DC Universe Paramount festivals supernatural sequels Sony Pictures Musicals best green book Summer Trailer streaming Video Games Opinion VH1 Turner SundanceTV dark spanish language Starz New York Comic Con Family DC streaming service E3 name the review sports blockbuster crime thriller mutant X-Men video American Society of Cinematographers WGN cops Oscars Adult Swim TBS Comedy WarnerMedia miniseries Drama aliens Fox Searchlight based on movie Cartoon Network HBO Go vampires