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

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