Even with the relative lack of depth in it's library compared with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is our most highly anticipated Disney Plus shows, and it's now got a release date and trailer – find out more below.
It's been a show beset by production difficulties and delays, most of which can be blamed on the coronavirus pandemic. There have been times in 2020 where we've wondered if it would have ever come out, so it's nice to see there's light at the end of the superhero tunnel for Bucky and co.
Taking place in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continues the accepted Marvel movies canon, as it sees Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) team up to face down new enemies and save the world in a way Steve Rogers himself would be proud.
Below, you'll find everything you need to know about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, with details about the cast, release date, new trailer and more.
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The Falcon and The Winter Soldier release date: 2021
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier release date is March 19, 2021.
It had an original launch of August, but now it is WandaVision coming first in 2020. Thanks to the coronavirus, the upcoming show only resumed filming in September 2020.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailer: watch it here
We've been waiting a while for a proper teaser trailer, but now we've got a little under two minutes of footage to tide us over until the now-confirmed release date. What we see is that, like fellow Disney Plus show, The Mandalorian, no expense is being spared in bringing lavish MCU action to the small screen. Steve Roger's legacy clearly weighs heavy, and we can't wait to see how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's six episodes pan out.
During the 2020 Super Bowl, Disney Plus released a 30-second teaser of the first three Marvel shows on Disney Plus. You get more of Falcon and Winter Soldier than you do of Loki and WandaVision, including a moody shot of Bucky holding a gun at Helmut Zemo's head, an extremely brief shot of Falcon flying in his new costume and the two characters greeting each other on what looks like some kind of remote ranch.
You also get a look at John Walker (Wyatt Russell), also known as Super-Patriot and USAgent from the comics running onto a football pitch. We'll explain more below, but it feels like a fight is brewing over who gets to be the next Captain America.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier story: what we know so far
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as the name suggests, brings Sam and Bucky back together again for a story set in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame.
There's no official synopsis for the series, but after Disney dropped the teaser above, Marvel called it a 'global adventure that tests their abilities – and their patience'. It will feature the return of the villain Helmut Zemo, last seen in Captain America: Civil War, and this time wearing his mask from the comics.
You just know Bucky will want revenge after the events of that movie. In Civil War, Zemo controlled Bucky's mind with a series of trigger words, and caused a sequence of events that almost led to the Winter Soldier's death at the hands of Tony Stark.
We know Sam won't be Captain America yet in this series, even though we've seen him practicing with the shield in the teaser trailer. Indeed, in the Disney Plus special Expanding the Universe, we actually see a brief shot of his new costume, which is somewhat in line with the classic Falcon look from the comics.
Although the plot of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is being kept under wraps for the time being, comic book writer Marc Bernadin theorized that there's been some tension about Sam Wilson taking over as the new Captain America, and that this will form the basis of the upcoming show. "The [US] government doesn't want Sam Wilson to be Captain America," he suggests. It makes a lot of sense, and it tallies with another key bit of casting on the show.
Back in November 2019, Wyatt Russell was added as the aforementioned John Walker – a character that should be all too familiar to comic book fans. Originally known as Super-Patriot, the former soldier will appear in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier TV series with a Captain America-esque suit. In fact, we've even seen concept art of what it looks like.
This could be a sign that the US government intends to replace Captain America with one of their own. Could there be a battle here over who gets to have the title of Captain America? We can't be sure yet, but that would be a neat direction for this show.
Either way, expect plenty of rich character moments between the action. "We don't want it to be all action all the time," executive producer and showrunner Malcolm Spellman says in the Expanding the Universe documentary. "We need to go home with these characters, we need to spend time unearthing who they are. And since we've got great actors, put them in situations where they really get to show what they do."
"We can create the same exciting high-end action sequences but then in between those set pieces, we get to dive deeper into the character beats," says Zoie Nagelhout, supervising producer of the show. "So it's the best of both worlds."
But, when the action does kick off, expect it to be almost as impressive as an MCU movie. Speaking to Variety, Mackie said "We're shooting it exactly like a movie." The Falcon went on to say "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.”
Whatever direction the Marvel spin-off show pursues, don't expect it to be exactly like MCU films. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Mackie said "They're going to feel completely different in and of themselves, because they're shot in a completely different way to the movies." Mackie went on to explain that, "I think people are going to be surprised by how in-depth and evolved the characters become by having six to eight hours to them, instead of just two."
The Falcon and Winter Soldier cast: who's returning
It's no secret that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles from the hit Marvel movies. But it looks as though we're in for a real treat as a number of other familiar Marvel faces return for the upcoming TV series.
Emily VanCamp appears again as Agent 13 aka Sharon Carter – a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Peggy Carter's niece. The last we saw her was during the events of Captain America: Civil War when she shared a kiss with her now-uncle Steve Rogers…but the less said about that, the better. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier should fill in the gaps since Civil War, explaining what Agent 13 has been up to since going on the run.
As explained, Daniel Brühl will return as Helmut Zemo, this time sporting his mask from the comics. And as discussed, too, Wyatt Russell is part of the cast as John Walker – a militaristic successor to Captain America who is presumably the number one candidate that outside forces want to see pick up the shield. Actors Adepero Oduye, Desmond Chiam and Miki Ishikawa have been cast in currently unknown roles.
In February 2020, it was reported by Deadline that Carl Lumbly (Alias) had joined the cast in an unknown role. Then, as the show resumed filming in September, set photos reveal the return of MCU villain, Batroc, last seen getting his behind handed to him at the beginning of Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Kari Skogland (The Walking Dead and The Punisher) is directing all episodes with Spellman and Derek Kolstad (John Wick) as the show's main writers.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will explore Captain America's legacy
It seems like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will be as much about the legacy of Captain America as it is about its titular characters. Presumably, this show will complete Sam's acceptance of the role – or see the Avenger make it his own.
Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have previously explained why they chose Sam Wilson to take over as Captain America, instead of Cap's long-time friend, Bucky Barnes.
"Ever since they met in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier], there seemed a very common bond between the two characters," Anthony told Yahoo! Entertainment. "Their military background, their humility, their sort of commitment to serving. It just seemed like that would be the person Cap would entrust."
"We [did consider Bucky]," Joe added. "But... we try to logic it out and sit in the room and talk through what makes the most sense from an arc standpoint and from a logic standpoint, and Sam made the most sense."
If nothing else, this show should look fantastic. A THR story reported that the per-episode budget for the upcoming Marvel shows is up to $25 million.
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