The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s return to the streaming space looked to be one of the biggest television events of the year, but due to an unforeseen pandemic production has been thrown into disarray.
Once upon a time, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was scheduled for a release on Disney+ in late August, but these plans had to be scrapped after filming was halted in March.
The upcoming series sees Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return to the title roles of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, following the retirement of their closest ally: Captain America.
A spiritual successor to the Captain America trilogy, the show is said to take inspiration from the acclaimed second entry and brings back fan-favourite characters Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl).
Fans are eager to see what it holds in store for the future of the MCU, most notably whether Falcon will embrace the mantle of Captain America – and they may not have to wait much longer to find out.
A video recently shared on Twitter seemed to suggest that filming on the series has finally resumed and two recent snaps from the stars themselves just confirmed that.
Anthony Mackie posted a tweet which saw him posing for a picture in his full Falcon costume, while Sebastian Stan shared an image to Instagram which revealed he was acting as his co-star’s photographer.
With any luck, the cast and crew will be able to wrap filming on the ambitious new series in the next month or so, as Stan had previously estimated there was only about “two or three weeks” left of the shoot.
Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) will serve as chief director on the mega-budget streaming show, working from a globe-trotting script penned by Malcolm Spellman (Empire).
Read on for everything we know about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
What is Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s release date?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was initially announced as an Autumn release, but Deadline revealed in January that the series had been bumped up to a launch date in late August 2020.
Of course, the coronavirus outbreak has since wreaked havoc on countries all over the world, prompting all filming on Marvel’s Disney+ shows to be halted – including Falcon and Winter Soldier, which was mere weeks away from wrapping up.
After a lengthy delay, the series has recently resumed filming in Atlanta, as confirmed by Mackie and Stan on two adorable linked social media posts.
Marvel back to filming in Atlantic Station pic.twitter.com/fLVGrIJejm
— Stanrico Lawson (@Mrplatinumtouch) September 9, 2020
If all goes smoothly, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could wrap filming within the next month or so, which would make a release date in late 2020 possible, depending on how much editing and effects work is still to be done.
At the very least, we could expect a full-length trailer before the end of the year, which would give fans a closer look than the brief teaser dropped back in February.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier cast
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will be reprising their respective roles as Air Force operative turned literal wingman Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) and reformed KGB assassin Bucky Barnes, better known by his codename The Winter Soldier.
But they aren’t the only familiar faces returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for this series, as Daniel Brühl will also be back as his Captain America: Civil War baddie Baron Zemo.
He made a big impression in that 2016 crossover epic, by driving a sizeable wedge between Captain America and Iron Man which ultimately left Earth vulnerable to Thanos’ forces in Avengers: Infinity War.
For his reappearance, it has been confirmed that Brühl will be sporting the character’s iconic costume from the comics, which includes a distinctive purple face mask – particularly appropriate in the era of COVID-19.
— MCU Direct (@MCU_Direct) November 12, 2019
“I was incredibly thrilled to go back because I remember that I had a lot of fun being in something completely different and getting to explore the MCU and become part of that,” Brühl said.
Another returning character who has been conspicuously absent since Civil War is Agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who Steve Rogers had a brief dalliance with before travelling back in time to marry her great aunt (awkward).
Sharon has been involved in several major Captain America storylines in the comic books, so her casting here is quite significant and fans will be intrigued to find out how “the snap” affected her.
Black Mirror star Wyatt Russell is set to appear as USAgent, a government sanctioned Captain America copycat with a dark side, who can be glimpsed in a familiar getup in new concept art below…
— Daniel Richtman #BlackLivesMatter (@DanielRPK) November 12, 2019
Noah Mills (The Brave) and Carl Lumbly (Alias) have also joined the cast in undisclosed roles, with some fans speculating that the latter could play Isaiah Bradley, the first black Captain America.
In the comics, Bradley was the product of secret experiments by the US government on African-Americans as they attempted to replicate the super soldier serum, a storyline inspired by the very real Tuskegee syphilis studies.
What is the Falcon/Winter Soldier TV series about?
In Avengers: Endgame, after the dust had settled on the climactic battle with Thanos and his goons, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) ventured back into the past to return the stolen Infinity Stones to their rightful place in time and space.
He returned as an elderly man, having lived a full and happy life with his first love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), effectively ending his tenure as Captain America.
He then handed his shield to loyal friend Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), presumably passing on the mantle of Captain America too. But does he have what it takes to be America’s Ass?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, so we should get an answer to that question (and many others).
As for Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), he’s no longer under the control of sinister outside forces and has even acquired a shiny new Vibranium arm during his time in Wakanda. Oh, and based on recently unveiled concept art poster, he’s had a haircut…
— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) August 25, 2019
If he can get past the jealousy that his best pal completely overlooked him as a potential successor, then these two could make a brilliant crime-fighting duo.
Given the prominence of Captain America’s shield in the official logo, it seems likely that the series will explore the character’s legacy, and it could be that both Sam and Bucky will eye the position of Captain America.
“I think it’s time for Bucky to go out there and have an identity outside of the circumstances that we’ve met him through,” Stan said of his man out of time while attending a convention in Italy.
“So, I don’t know, he might do all kinds of things. He might even go on a date. I don’t know… I think it’s gonna be a lot of dealing with Anthony’s character.”
Could Sharon Carter become a new love interest for either superhero? And what will bring Zemo back to villainy? We’ll have to wait and see, but we do know which Marvel movie the new series will most resemble.
“What I loved about it was that, tonally, it was very much in the same world that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, which was one of my favourite experiences that I’ve ever had,” Stan said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
He added: “It was grounded and very much in the world as we know it. But, it’s also really jam-packed with a lot of massive, massive action scenes mixed with deep focus on character.”
Co-star Anthony Mackie has said that fans can expect a series comparable to the Marvel movies, in a conversation for Variety‘s Actors on Actors.
“We’re shooting it exactly like a movie,” he said. “Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show. So instead of a two-hour movie, a six or eight-hour movie.”
Who is writing the Falcon/Winter Soldier TV series?
A couple of writers have been mentioned in connection with the new show. First off, Variety reported the involvement of Malcolm Spellman, who is best known for working on hit Fox series Empire.
The second name, revealed by The Wrap, is arguably the more intriguing of the two – Derek Kolstad, co-creator of the popular John Wick franchise starring Keanu Reeves, which is prepping a fourth instalment.
Is there a trailer?
It features glimpses of Sam Wilson training with Captain America’s legendary shield as well as a very quick look at Winter Soldier’s fresh trim and Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled for release on Disney Plus in 2020. You can sign up to Disney+ now for £5.99 per month or £59.99 for a full year. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.