Comics On TV

Everything We Know About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The MCU Phase 4–tied series will premiere March 19, 2021 and just dropped a new official trailer. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their Avengers roles from Marvel's blockbuster superhero films in the Disney+ series.

by | February 7, 2021 | 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 one of the earliest of the studio’s ambitious plans for content on the Disney+ streaming service – it was the first until pandemic circumstances shuffled things up and WandaVision jumped the queue – 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. A just-released official trailer, teased during the 2021 Super Bowl, has revealed new details about the series.

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.

During the December 10, 2020 Disney Investor Day, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that the series premieres March 19, 2021. And that is now the official release date.

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?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier keyart

(Photo by Marvel Studios/Disney+)

Click image to see full poster in a new window.

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 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 – and shown extensively in the 2021 Super Bowl trailer – 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. He does announce in the latest trailer that he has some unfinished business.

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.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available on Disney+ from March 19, 2021.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

CNN laika Apple Quiz Anna Paquin superman 2018 Valentine's Day teaser BET IFC green book cartoon Reality doctor who universal monsters Disney Travel Channel Marvel TruTV deadpool Rock Box Office Martial Arts golden globe awards Star Trek Turner Classic Movies Rom-Com DirecTV prank Pop Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Fox Searchlight Lucasfilm singing competition Action Classic Film Reality Competition Captain marvel cancelled TV series films DC streaming service Red Carpet BBC America ratings Mary poppins black Musical San Diego Comic-Con mutant crossover Spike President dramedy chucky comic Sundance Now Pet Sematary finale cancelled television robots directors Amazon south america WarnerMedia Countdown theme song witnail name the review football 72 Emmy Awards reboot 20th Century Fox Chernobyl GIFs nfl Universal Christmas Shondaland YouTube Red screenings Turner Acorn TV video telelvision GoT DGA vampires Comedy Central The Academy pirates of the caribbean stop motion Apple TV Plus spider-man documentaries godzilla spinoff Television Critics Association movie Showtime halloween History police drama dragons stand-up comedy Premiere Dates Emmys Animation Biopics Masterpiece Freeform Hear Us Out french Pop TV Comics on TV boxoffice Pirates Western diversity aliens emmy awards zero dark thirty new star wars movies Super Bowl foreign First Look latino DC Universe worst movies PlayStation comiccon hollywood HBO australia Character Guide Certified Fresh tv talk Baby Yoda Arrowverse A&E YouTube Premium true crime unscripted ABC Family Comic Book 2021 Fox News Lifetime Christmas movies Stephen King Fall TV book adaptation sequel APB TV Land Marathons TIFF Vudu The Arrangement cars Sundance streaming blaxploitation Mudbound kaiju Schedule TBS psychological thriller Trophy Talk screen actors guild Country Fantasy Election PaleyFest television WGN king kong Awards Tour christmas movies elevated horror Writers Guild of America Kids & Family sequels Esquire Horror Interview ESPN reviews YouTube Best and Worst Adult Swim Paramount Plus richard e. Grant dc Rocketman Mindy Kaling Shudder indie 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Creative Arts Emmys Awards LGBTQ Sci-Fi festival Endgame child's play Sony Pictures crime superhero documentary Broadway stoner Amazon Prime Video adventure Epix Avengers Discovery Channel Black Mirror hist Sneak Peek scorecard nature Marvel Studios asian-american Tarantino USA Network comedies fresh ViacomCBS ID RT History First Reviews AMC IFC Films indiana jones NYCC FXX Music breaking bad video on demand Paramount Network Summer Crackle Ghostbusters blockbuster A24 Academy Awards satire TCA cancelled travel adaptation comics franchise Elton John Emmy Nominations Amazon Studios Amazon Prime movies Brie Larson revenge 2019 Disney Plus hidden camera Superheroes Trivia kids crime thriller war discovery Ellie Kemper Cannes Food Network Ovation spanish CMT twilight Watching Series NBC SundanceTV Exclusive Video kong rt archives children's TV Cartoon Network talk show strong female leads ITV 71st Emmy Awards werewolf Bravo italian ABC Marvel Television LGBT zombies Nickelodeon rom-coms cancelled TV shows Cosplay award winner independent spy thriller Set visit space RT21 Binge Guide Year in Review anthology high school 2015 classics Tubi rotten movies we love jurassic park cops hispanic Star Wars Comedy remakes archives The Walking Dead Video Games miniseries Holidays E3 CW Seed concert series Infographic 24 frames cooking worst romantic comedy Holiday saw Tomatazos women SDCC Oscars dark VH1 The Witch social media Tumblr sitcom TCA Winter 2020 Netflix Christmas movies OWN 93rd Oscars Hallmark TLC japanese composers 4/20 versus TCA 2017 jamie lee curtis slashers ABC Signature cinemax joker BBC Film Lifetime American Society of Cinematographers Television Academy USA E! book ghosts trailers venice Grammys blockbusters disaster Winter TV Warner Bros. Netflix Trailer Pixar die hard Disney+ Disney Plus Heroines FOX The CW Alien spanish language cats rotten Funimation TCA Awards anime Syfy 2020 CBS Starz Crunchyroll Polls and Games comic books Song of Ice and Fire MCU Nominations Apple TV+ HBO Go Film Festival Superheroe mission: impossible YA Walt Disney Pictures Dark Horse Comics Winners serial killer golden globes dogs supernatural all-time halloween tv DC Comics Mary Tyler Moore festivals transformers Mary Poppins Returns toronto Drama batman BBC One 21st Century Fox Calendar PBS what to watch cults monster movies parents Extras Mystery historical drama 99% Disney streaming service TV Teen biography game of thrones Toys canceled TV shows Disney Channel FX on Hulu Photos a nightmare on elm street Opinion Spectrum Originals fast and furious Black History Month best See It Skip It toy story Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt nbcuniversal romance Family critics SXSW TV renewals crime drama quibi docudrama popular Spring TV dceu MSNBC based on movie technology Logo Peacock CBS All Access natural history canceled free movies X-Men boxing BAFTA Hulu 007 2016 political drama GLAAD binge The Walt Disney Company Podcast New York Comic Con Paramount spain El Rey Legendary Thanksgiving HBO Max Britbox criterion docuseries news justice league TNT game show The Purge Lionsgate casting VOD TV One Pride Month period drama renewed TV shows Columbia Pictures Women's History Month MTV mockumentary 2017 heist movie Hallmark Christmas movies science fiction VICE sports TCM Nat Geo Musicals National Geographic BET Awards thriller politics Rocky 45 harry potter psycho Sundance TV razzies zombie obituary sag awards medical drama animated FX james bond scary movies facebook OneApp