Although it might not appear quite as experimental as the high-concept WandaVision, Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is an ambitious project in its own right.
The action-packed series is partly inspired by the spy thriller style of 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but also borrows from classic buddy-cop movies with its odd couple dynamic.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, it was revealed that stars Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie would improvise insults aimed at each other’s characters, with writer Malcolm Spellman hailing their electric chemistry.
“We didn’t lose that feeling of security and espionage,” Mackie said. “It still feels like you’re in a Philip K Dick novel [or] a Tom Clancy movie. But at the same time, it’s Sebastian and I, and we’re idiots, so you get more of us being ourselves.”
The series was one of the biggest topics of discussion at Disney’s recent Television Critics Association presentation, with producer Kevin Feige revealing why he ordered only six episodes of the comic book drama.
“Six hours is what we landed on as the best way to tell our story,” he explained. “Six hours, whether it’s six episodes, or nine shorter episodes like WandaVision. The shows aren’t inexpensive, so the per-episode cost is very high and to get that bar I was talking about.”
You can find out more information here about Marvel TV series on Disney+, as the shows look set to have a huge impact on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Read on for everything we know about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+.
What is Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s release date?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been bumped back multiple times throughout 2020 – however, Marvel has finally settled on an official date.
The spin-off series is now expected to land on Disney+ on Friday 19th March 2021 despite being initially announced as an Autumn release.
Of course, the coronavirus outbreak has 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 resumed filming in Atlanta towards the end of the summer, while the shoot reportedly wrapped in October (via Comicbook.com).
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier release schedule
The series will premiere on Friday 19th March and will continue across the following six weeks, with no double-bills announced at the time of writing.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 1: Friday 19th March
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2: Friday 26th March
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3: Friday 2nd April
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 4: Friday 9th April
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5: Friday 16th April
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 6: Friday 23rd April
That puts a sizeable gap between the end of this series and the launch of Marvel’s next big miniseries, Loki, which has now been confirmed to premiere on 11th June.
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.
“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.
In February 2020, Don Cheadle let slip to Post-Credit Podcast that Avengers character War Machine (aka Colonel James Rhodes) will show up in the series, presumably to lend a helping hand to his crime-fighting colleagues.
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.
Meanwhile, Adepero Oduye (When They See Us) has been cast as Sarah Wilson, sister to Sam, who turned to her brother for help in the comic books following the death of her husband.
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.
In October 2020, On My Block star Danny Ramirez was announced to be joining the cast of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, in a secret (but important) role.
It remains to be seen whether he’ll be playing a character from the Marvel comic books or a new creation for the series, but we’ll keep this page updated with more information as it comes in.
Likewise, Erin Kellyman’s villainous role has so far been shrouded in secrecy, but her prominence in the latest trailer has led some fans to believe she could be playing the Red Skull’s daughter, Sin.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailers
The first full-length trailer for Falcon and the Winter Soldier landed in February 2021, teasing the buddy cop dynamic between its two titular heroes as well as re-introducing Emily VanCamp’s Agent 13 on top form.
Marvel are still holding out on showing us Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo, complete with comics-accurate purple mask, but we do get a good look at Erin Kellyman’s mysterious and dangerous new villain.
A couple of months earlier, Marvel had released a shorter first-look promo which shows Falcon hesitant to take over as Captain America whilst taking on a new set of villains alongside the Winter Soldier.
What is the Falcon and the 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.
If he can get past the fact that his wartime pal completely overlooked him as a potential successor, then these two could make a brilliant crime-fighting duo.
“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.”
Given that Steve Rogers is not expected to feature in the series and a recently released image sees Sam wearing what could easily be funeral attire, some have theorised that the original Cap may have passed away before the events of this series.
That remains unconfirmed at the time of writing, but one of the few things we do know is which Marvel movie the new show will most closely 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 wrote The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
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.
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.