Listen to our full breakdown on the Filmnetic Podcast:
Move over WandaVision, it’s time for another Marvel show to get its spotlight. After Marvel Studios’ mind-bending Disney+ debut, The Flacon and the Winter Soldier is finally set to return fans to the classic action/adventure genre that made the franchise explode in the first place.
Only two weeks after the finale of Marvel’s first television phenomenon, the studio will launch its next series focusing on the supporting character of the Captain America film franchise. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will see the two titular characters teaming up against a common enemy in an action packed, globe-trotting adventure.
There are so many returning characters, classic plot lines, and surprising elements that you should know about going in. Marvel movies and streaming shows are always loaded with elements that could seem a bit intimidating or confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at. We’re going to breakdown (spoiler free) what you should expect from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier from an original comic book fan perspective and a Hollywood generalist perspective that knows how behind the scenes scenarios effect what we see on screen.
Of course, while everything listed in this article is publicly available information and therefore not spoilers, if you wanted to go into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier completely blind, this may not be the article for you. Check out more right here:
Nothing to do with WandaVision
Originally set to come out in August 2020, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier experienced the same COVID-19 delays that most Marvel content faced. With mere weeks of international photography left to go, production on the show was halted last March and therefore had to be pushed back to March 2021. Luckily, Marvel had WandaVision a little more under control (because it filmed on closed, isolated sets) so its premier was only delayed a mere month from December 2020 to January 2021.
Don’t worry, the fact that the release order was shifted does not mean that the story will be told out of order, it just means that these two stories stand-alone without much (if any) crossover. The two shows exist in different corners of the MCU, so don’t expect any witches or Sorcerer Supremes to show up.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have a clearer action/adventure tone than other installments in the MCU. Think of this show as a successor to Captain America: Civil War, and WandaVision as a successor to Doctor Strange: the two came out back-to-back in 2016 but explored completely different corners of the MCU.
Focusing on Sam Wilson’s character development into the new Captain America
Consider this our lesson from experiencing WandaVision: Marvel Studio’s Disney+ shows will focus on developing characters that have not had their time to shine on the big screen. The shows are always advertised as “leading in” to MCU film instalments. Therefore, fans should not expect any major, universe altering plot developments on the small screen, because more casual viewers would not be able to experience the films in the same way.
Instead, the Marvel Disney+ shows will focus on growing our favorite characters into the position they need to be in for their future in the MCU. For Wanda Maximoff, WandaVision served as her origin story to full transform into the Scarlett Witch comic fans all know and love. The Flacon and the Winter Soldier will follow the journey that Sam Wilson takes to assume the Captain America mantle that was passed down to him by Steve Rogers at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
The show will also explore the other contenders for the Captain America title and legacy. The Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes is obviously a co-lead in the series, so the debated idea of him assuming the title (as he did so famously in the comics) is an obvious conflict in the series. Other government sponsored options are also confirmed to be a piece on the board (specifics on these spoilers were leaked a long time ago and are easy to find). Still, the mere fact that Sam Wilson was Steve’s handpicked successor means that we should expect the series to focus on his struggle to accept the responsibility of carrying on the legacy.
Assuming the title of Captain America is not a process that should happen overnight. The legacy of the shield will definitely be at the forefront of both Sam Wilson and the public’s struggle to accept the world’s new Captain America.
Captain America 3.5: returning to the characters and tone of the original trilogy
The Russo Brothers successfully turned the Captain America franchise into the action packed, political thriller corner of the MCU. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may not be led by the Russo Brothers, but their influence is definitely the backbone of this project. If you’re a fan of the gritty action style of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, this will be the perfect show for you.
Not only will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier carry on the tone and story of the Captain America franchise, it will also feature most of the supporting characters from the series. Anthony Mackie and Sebastien Stan are obviously set to reprise their roles as the Falcon and the Winter Soldier respectively, but other characters from across the franchise are set to appear in this show as well.
Emily Van Camp’s Agent 13 aka Sharron Carter is set to make her MCU return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. She was last seen kissing her uncle by marriage (yea it’s probably an alternate timeline, but it still happened) in Civil War. Her role is expected to be far less love-interest and far more ass-kicking, so fans of the character will finally see her fully step into the action. (Check out the latest trailer for a taste of her combat skills)
Daniel Brühl will also reprise his role as the villainous Barron Zemo from his last and only appearance in Civil War. While fans shouldn’t expect a major CGI action sequence with a supernatural villain, Zemo proved himself to be one of the more effective, mastermind type villains that will surely provide a few twists and turns to thrill us in an unconventional way.
Other characters from across the MCU past, present, and future are credibly rumored to show up as well. Still, if we learned anything from WandaVision, it’s that Marvel is not afraid to cut a cameo if it distracts from the core purpose of the show. Fans should treat cameos like a nice treat and not an expectation in order to avoid unwarranted disappointment again.
Longer (but less) Episodes than WandaVision
Marvel fans will never forget the mix of anger and dread that took over when they read the words “please stand by” at the end of every episode of WandaVision. With the average episode running about 25-35 minutes of screen time, WandaVision fans simultaneously groaned at the end of every episode because the time flew by so fast. Luckily, Kevin Feige has promised that this will not be the case for every Marvel show.
Feige has confirmed that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be six episodes (compared to nine from WandaVision) spanning across 40-50 minutes of screen time. This is far more in line with the traditional length of hour-long episodes in modern streaming shows, and comparable to the 40–45 minute length of weekly network TV shows. Marvel fans will always crave more content no matter what, but the extra 15-20 minutes per week will definitely help hold them over until the next week’s instalment.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have an identical Friday weekly release strategy and is set to premier its first episode on Disney+ on March 18.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Let us know down below in the comments or over on Twitter.