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

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