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

Cosplay cancelled TV shows children's TV christmas movies American Society of Cinematographers Esquire Chernobyl target art house venice jurassic park 2015 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt new star wars movies heist movie Trophy Talk Disney+ Disney Plus science fiction debate Sundance Syfy know your critic BBC America indiana jones DC streaming service Amazon Studios Black Mirror dragons golden globes E! Amazon space Black History Month video spy thriller vs. GIFs news ABC screen actors guild Spectrum Originals APB black comedy Superheroe Paramount Network prank Mystery Food Network PlayStation critics halloween tv kids television 90s unscripted Music Pirates CW Seed all-time mockumentary 24 frames twilight 73rd Emmy Awards Stephen King GoT Exclusive Video Comic Book The CW LGBT HBO Max Columbia Pictures Star Trek Sci-Fi casting Christmas Martial Arts Character Guide Television Critics Association international documentaries genre nbcuniversal Dark Horse Comics kong Cartoon Network game show Netflix USA Network Universal Trailer Summer disaster worst theme song TIFF CBS psycho TLC ABC Signature lord of the rings Musicals Marvel trophy young adult nature best Extras Logo dreamworks IFC Films Crackle Mary Poppins Returns Awards Tour Tomatazos Kids & Family renewed TV shows serial killer Tubi Premiere Dates Pet Sematary boxoffice nfl Nat Geo animated worst movies FX on Hulu 1990s telelvision Broadway Family dogs Hear Us Out comics Television Academy Rom-Com movie zombie Biopics Fargo Disney Channel mission: impossible sag awards Country FX archives Lifetime Christmas movies dceu TCA Winter 2020 Alien BBC One Vudu vampires spinoff Walt Disney Pictures San Diego Comic-Con The Purge deadpool satire Ovation Acorn TV critic resources NBA Box Office Emmys Film Comedy Central zero dark thirty 4/20 The Walking Dead ABC Family TV reviews Lionsgate Reality binge Pacific Islander halloween TCM kaiju 2019 women Drama Sundance TV streaming razzies remakes parents CMT Avengers Anna Paquin japan Peacock SXSW Election 93rd Oscars reboot Year in Review Apple Oscars cults cancelled New York Comic Con ID Pop new york BBC indie Countdown black Neflix The Walt Disney Company classics OneApp TCA TruTV popular Writers Guild of America Spike Superheroes 20th Century Fox spain dc true crime Baby Yoda USA Sneak Peek book adaptation Polls and Games hidden camera Nickelodeon anime blaxploitation Pixar foreign Fall TV series stoner historical drama Amazon Prime Video name the review festivals romance leaderboard crime drama supernatural hollywood franchise cooking fresh talk show AMC scorecard mutant dexter Certified Fresh Shondaland Watching Series YouTube Red strong female leads posters 2021 laika Paramount Plus Super Bowl Sundance Now comic books VOD singing competition dark 71st Emmy Awards Elton John PBS Netflix Christmas movies mob video on demand football witnail rotten festival Cannes 2017 Hallmark VH1 japanese Photos CBS All Access legend criterion canceled Marvel Studios TBS DirecTV Marvel Television Brie Larson Mudbound stop motion 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards medical drama comedies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina RT21 Infographic The Arrangement Fantasy TV One godzilla biography DGA universal monsters OWN TCA 2017 Starz National Geographic Holiday cancelled television Apple TV Plus Rocketman sitcom Opinion Tumblr cops Bravo joker First Look werewolf boxing SundanceTV cars batman technology natural history latino TCA Awards italian political drama dramedy versus award winner revenge Mindy Kaling History movies golden globe awards ratings a nightmare on elm street YA sports HBO Go emmy awards royal family thriller TV renewals HBO comic hispanic Heroines rom-coms feel good social media king arthur action-comedy james bond Comic-Con@Home 2021 trailers VICE Interview gangster game of thrones wonder woman ESPN films based on movie Captain marvel fast and furious slashers aliens Apple TV+ 45 Academy Awards what to watch docudrama Rocky documentary Valentine's Day canceled TV shows Film Festival Legendary politics saw Turner Classic Movies teaser BAFTA cancelled TV series robots basketball Hulu RT History independent First Reviews Ghostbusters zombies Tokyo Olympics anthology 007 transformers MCU crime thriller Set visit harry potter Animation Travel Channel king kong YouTube Premium TNT Turner rt archives docuseries live action Warner Bros. The Academy crossover aapi Funimation south america blockbusters X-Men El Rey Britbox Lifetime Discovery Channel comiccon 2016 miniseries 2018 toy story chucky Marathons olympics NYCC The Witch Epix die hard Fox Searchlight 99% Classic Film toronto Pop TV elevated horror Adult Swim streaming movies Binge Guide Sony Pictures sequel french richard e. Grant quibi SDCC Horror Rock Winners PaleyFest superhero Emmy Nominations obituary Endgame Musical Action Calendar hist spanish language NBC romantic comedy sequels pirates of the caribbean Universal Pictures BET Awards Fox News A24 hispanic heritage month rt labs critics edition TV Land Trivia Disney Plus MTV Freeform CNN Creative Arts Emmys Best and Worst Winter TV GLAAD screenings live event war breaking bad diversity DC Universe adventure scary Star Wars new zealand slasher Reality Competition comic book movies Grammys blockbuster facebook free movies Holidays Teen biopic superman cinemax spider-man green book adaptation doctor who 2020 Wes Anderson Awards adenture marvel comics Western Toys book WarnerMedia Comedy IFC Comics on TV Schedule Masterpiece child's play Nominations high school BET FOX suspense spanish directors See It Skip It cartoon comic book movie ghosts ITV Paramount travel Video Games 72 Emmy Awards Song of Ice and Fire IMDb TV psychological thriller spider-verse mcc period drama LGBTQ WGN asian-american marvel cinematic universe rt labs A&E Spring TV finale E3 Ellie Kemper President DC Comics Arrowverse Podcast Mary poppins Shudder justice league YouTube Showtime discovery scary movies tv talk police drama sopranos composers cats Image Comics Women's History Month scene in color AMC Plus monster movies Mary Tyler Moore Quiz crime MSNBC ViacomCBS Amazon Prime Tarantino Pride Month concert Disney TV movies Crunchyroll Thanksgiving stand-up comedy rotten movies we love jamie lee curtis australia Disney streaming service Red Carpet FXX 21st Century Fox Instagram Live Hallmark Christmas movies Lucasfilm