Ever since Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes found themselves on the same side in Captain America: Civil War (that car scene quickly comes to mind), fans have been clamoring to see their “bromance” evolve in future films. Although we did see snippets of this peculiar relationship grow in Infinity War and Endgame, there has never been a more in-depth look at their dynamic until now with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The second series from Marvel Studios to hit Disney+, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier follows our titular heroes in a new world, one that’s still recuperating with literally half the population being “blipped” back and more importantly, one without Captain America. In true comic-book fashion, such drastic change has opened the doors to a whole new era of threats – all with their own agendas to level the playing field. Following his last interaction with ‘Old Man’ Steve Rogers in Endgame, Sam Wilson must rise in the ranks and wrestle with the fact if he’s truly ready, or even worthy, of taking on the mantle of Captain America.
We attended the official press conference with the cast and crew of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. More so, it was another chance for Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan to shine. The duo have noticeably grown a fair share of fans (or stans if you will) within the Marvel fandom, and it’s a true testament to their screen presence and chemistry – something that will finally be fleshed out in a way that the their last few outings simply couldn’t have spared them the time.
When diving into their growing dynamic, Sebastian Stan suggests that both Sam and Bucky start out in similar positions at the beginning of the series. “Because of Steve’s missing and the consequences of that, it’s sort of thrown them both into opposite corners in terms of facing their lives, their demons. They’ve got different things they are facing but they’re in a similar place.”
Stan also adds how both Sam and Bucky share a similar past, both having experienced war, and elaborates on how that experience makes that dynamic even more unique…
“The whole subject of PTSD, and the experience that they both share as men who have served, is one of the things that brings them together. There’s a bit of an honor code between them even though they come from different ideas or opinions about things, there’s a mutual respect.”
In true MCU fashion, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier takes great inspiration from iconic films and TV shows. In line with the films, it’s the reason why fans see Captain America: The Winter Solider as more of a political thriller and something Spider-Man: Homecoming as a classic coming-of-age story. The MCU doesn’t shy away from showing off its range, whether its in storytelling or visuals, but at the end of the day – there is a specific charm about the franchise that runs through every entry. Showrunner Malcolm Spellman (Empire) hints at this practice when specifically talking about Sam and Bucky’s relationship…
“What we loved about them is the range. Tonally, you can go from as gritty as 48 Hours to as funny as Rush Hour… it allows Sebastian and Anthony to do what they do and create that magic.”
Understandably, many are under the assumption that this show will just essentially be a Russo Brothers replica. After all, it does continue the story that the Russos played a major hand in and even appears to be on the same storytelling level as their Captain America films. This is fair, but from the words of the showrunner himself, his creative vision is not all the same as the brothers. Sure, politics, suspense, and high-octane action will factor in, but the buddy cop aspect of something like 48 Hours or Rush Hour wasn’t as pivotal in the previous films. Again, it’s only now getting expanded on, but under a fresh pair of eyes.
Speaking of the Russos, fans should be happy to hear that the same stunt team that worked on those films returned for this series. So if the MCU moving to TV is something that worried you in terms of scale and intensity, fret not. Mackie was ecstatic to talk about bringing this new story with the same team…
“The great thing about what we were able to do with this was nothing was jeopardized or watered down… the same stunt guys we worked with on the films are the same guys who choreographed and did all of our stunts on the show. Because of that, the stunts are really amazing. It’s more physical. It’s more assertive. Because of that, the stunt guys had a field day. Wyatt [Russell, who plays John Walker], Sebastian, and myself did a lot of stunt training… some of the stuff you see is us, but we had amazing stuntmen to go in and kick ass for us”
Stan adds to the conversation…
“Definitely, I feel like for Falcon, it feels like the action really intensified in a lot of ways – and also for Bucky as well. We were always finding new ways to have them evolve with their action sequences.”
Will Marvel Studios second go at television have as much a cultural impact as WandaVision? That remains to be seen, but at this moment, the show is tracking to dominate social trends and streaming numbers. WandaVision was huge, but perhaps a return to the iconography of Captain America (familiar territory that has been severely missed by the fans in the delays Marvel made due to the ongoing pandemic) could push this to new heights, even for a dominating streaming service like Disney+.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts March 19 only on Disney+
Follow Managing Editor Andrew J. Salazar on Twitter: @AndrewJ626