The expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues this month as the franchise embarks on its second ambitious Disney Plus series: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Taking a more traditional approach than WandaVision, the show will blend a classic buddy cop dynamic with the espionage thrills of the Captain America trilogy, in a story that could decide who will inherit a certain vibranium shield.
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are back in the title roles, after demonstrating some strong comedic chemistry with one another during their shared scenes in 2016’s Civil War.
However, there are several other returning players from across the MCU as well as some intriguing new additions, so read on for everything you need to know about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier cast.
Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson/Falcon
Who is Sam Wilson/Falcon? A veteran of the United States Air Force, Sam Wilson first crossed paths with Steve Rogers at a meeting for ex-servicemen and women adjusting to life back in the normal world. When Cap had to go on the run following HYDRA’s secret takeover of SHIELD, Sam was one of the key allies that helped foil their evil scheme – adopting the codename Falcon, inspired by his high-tech wingsuit that allows him to soar through the air and take on enemies from above.
After the Civil War, Sam went underground and lived on the run with Captain America, Black Widow and Wanda Maximoff, before being “snapped” out of existence by Thanos at the end of Infinity War. Fortunately, he was brought back to life during the events of Avengers: Endgame and was chosen by Steve Rogers to inherit his iconic shield as well as the mantle of Captain America.
However, if the trailers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are any indication, that transition won’t be easy. We’ve already heard Sam discuss the legacy of the shield as “complicated” and it seems that the US government has picked out their own successor to Captain America in the form of John Walker, the USAgent (more on him below). By the end of this six-part series, expect a clearer picture of what Sam’s future looks like.
What else has Anthony Mackie been in? Mackie has played the role of Sam Wilson across several Marvel films, with key roles in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, as well as smaller appearances in Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Outside of the MCU, he has appeared in several other major Hollywood movies, including 8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker and The Night Before. Mackie is also known for his work with Netflix, starring in Black Mirror‘s Striking Vipers and the second season of Altered Carbon.
Sebastian Stan plays Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier
Who is Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier? James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes was the original BFF to Steve Rogers, who grew up with him and served alongside him in the Second World War. During a mission (featured in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger), he was thrown from a moving train and presumed dead. However, it was later revealed that his body had been retrieved by the Soviet Union, who experimented on him and transformed him into a remorseless assassin.
Although his memories had been utterly scrambled by his brainwashing, they began to creep back when he fought Steve in the modern day. Although many wanted him dead, Steve stayed loyal to his old friend, causing a rift in the Avengers that sparked the Civil War. However, things ultimately worked out, with Bucky now free of his sinister programming and an ally to the heroes of the MCU, fighting alongside them during the Infinity War.
Bucky has a complicated relationship with Sam Wilson. While they are now on the same side, they have a habit of getting on each other’s nerves, so working together on a high-stakes mission is going to be a major test for them both.
What else has Sebastian Stan been in? Stan’s career first took off on television, where he had roles in Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time and Political Animals, a high-profile miniseries starring Sigourney Weaver. In addition to his several MCU appearances, Stan has recently taken roles in The Martian, Logan Lucky and Margot Robbie’s awards contender, I, Tonya. Most recently, he appeared opposite fellow Marvel actor Tom Holland in Netflix’s The Devil All The Time.
Daniel Brühl plays Baron Zemo
Who is Baron Zemo? Baron Zemo is a terrorist who once served in the Sokovian military, before the country was left in ruins after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He made his first appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, where he sought to destroy the super hero team as he blamed them for the death of his family. He succeeded in tearing them apart by framing Bucky Barnes for an attack on the United Nations, which drove a serious wedge between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark.
At the end of the film, when his plan was complete, he attempted to take his own life but was stopped by Black Panther and imprisoned. It is unclear what he has been up to in the years since, but we do know that he is once again at large in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with the eponymous heroes teaming up to stop whatever he has planned next.
What else has Daniel Brühl been in? Brühl’s breakout role in the US was as Fredrick Zoller, a German war hero in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. He also earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda in the biographical film Rush and, as of 2018, he also stars in the period drama television series The Alienist.
Emily VanCamp plays Sharon Carter/Agent 13
Who is Sharon Carter/Agent 13? We first met Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where she was a serving SHIELD agent assigned to keep an eye on Steve Rogers. She was completely unaware that the agency was a front for HYDRA until the terrorist organisation attempted its violent takeover, but made the brave decision to stand up for Cap and oppose the corrupt Brock Rumlow. When SHIELD collapsed, she began working for the CIA.
During Civil War, it was revealed that Sharon is the great niece of Peggy Carter – Steve Rogers’ wartime love – and she sided with him in the ensuing fallout. The two even shared a somewhat awkward kiss, but their romance was cut short following the events of Avengers: Endgame, which ended with Steve travelling back in time to live out his days with her great aunt. An epic ghosting.
We haven’t seen the character since Civil War, but we know that she too was forced to go into hiding following the events of Civil War, where she breached the rules of the Sokovia Accords. On the run for several years, she will team up with Sam and Bucky once again in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as they take on the devious Baron Zemo.
What else has Emily VanCamp been in? VanCamp has been a consistent presence on US television for the last two decades, jumping from role-to-role on Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Revenge and currently medical drama The Resident.
Wyatt Russell plays John Walker/USAgent
Who is John Walker? While it’s unclear what exactly John Walker‘s role will be in the MCU, he began life as a villain known as Super-Patriot in the comic books. The character initially functioned as a reflection of Captain America and was used by writers to explore the darker side of nationalism.
Over the years, he has become a more heroic figure, taking on the mantle of Captain America when it was temporarily abandoned by Steve Rogers and later joining the Avengers under his own moniker, USAgent. However, he remains a problematic figure who is not particularly well-liked by his fellow superheroes and known for occasional violent outbursts.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it has been speculated by fans that John Walker could be the US government’s official choice to inherit Captain America’s shield, but it remains to be seen if he will be an ally or enemy to the titular characters.
What else has Wyatt Russell been in? Russell played Cooper in Black Mirror’s Playtest, an episode from the third season of Netflix’s chilling anthology. More recently, he starred opposite Ethan Hawke in historical drama The Good Lord Bird. He is the son of Hollywood legend Kurt Russell, who also joined the MCU as Ego the Living Planet in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.
Georges St Pierre plays Georges Batroc/Batroc the Leaper
Who is Georges Batroc/Batroc the Leaper? Batroc is a dangerous mercenary who we first met in the opening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he hijacked a ship carrying SHIELD personnel. He gave Cap a run for his money in an intense one-on-one fight, where he demonstrated his mastery at the French form of kickboxing known as savate. He has not been seen since in the MCU, so it’s not yet known what his role will be here.
What else has Georges St Pierre been in? St Pierre is primarily a martial artist, who competed in the UFC for a number of years, where he became Welterweight Champion on three occasions. He braved the Octagon again in 2017 and secured his first Middleweight title, but has since officially retired from the sport.
Don Cheadle plays James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine
Who is James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine? Rhodey is a former US Air Force officer who became an Avenger through his close friendship with Tony Stark. The tech whizz designed him his very own suit of armour, codenamed War Machine, which is bulkier and more weapons-based than that of Iron Man himself.
He sided with Tony Stark during the Civil War and signed the Sokovia Accords, which briefly put him at odds with both Sam and Bucky. However, the group reconciled as they were faced with the existential threat of Thanos, fighting alongside one another against the powerful alien forces. Rhodes was last seen mourning at Tony Stark’s funeral.
Don Cheadle let slip in a recent interview that he will be reprising the role of War Machine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but it is not yet known how prominently the character will be featured.
What else has Don Cheadle been in? Cheadle has acted in a number of major films and television shows in addition to his Marvel work, with recent projects including House of Lies and Black Monday. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the hard-hitting factual drama Hotel Rwanda.
Erin Kellyman plays Karli Morgenthau
Who is Karli Morgenthau? Karli is a leading member of the anti-patriotism anarchist group known as The Flag-Smashers. Little else is known about her character, but she was featured prominently in the recent trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where she bested the Winter Soldier in one-on-one combat. Some fans have speculated that the character could secretly be Red Skull’s daughter, Sin, but that remains unconfirmed for now.
What else has Erin Kellyman been in? Kellyman first broke out on the Channel 4 comedy-drama Raised by Wolves, inspired by the early years of Caitlin Moran. She went on to play rebel Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story and starred as Maya in BBC One’s recent drama, Life.
Adepero Oduye plays Sarah Wilson
Who is Sarah Wilson? Sarah is Sam’s sister, who will be making her first ever MCU appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It is not yet known what brings her back into his life, but in the comics, the two reunited following the death of her husband.
What else has Adepero Oduye been in? Oduye made a name for herself with strong performances in critically acclaimed dramas such as Pariah, 12 Years A Slave and When They See Us.
Read our latest The Falcon and the Winter Soldier review, plus learn more about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier cast, including who Patriot is and who the Power Broker could be, and never miss an episode with our The Falcon and the Winter Soldier release schedule.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney Plus on Friday 19th March. To watch, you can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year now. Check out the rest of our Sci-fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.