This article is first published in theSun Buzz edition HERE
Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was supposed to be the first Marvel series to air on Disney Plus. However, production was met with slight delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic and an earthquake that took place in Puerto Rico during filming.
Fortunately for all patient fans, the wait was worth it because The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted on March 19, just in time to fill the void left by the recently completed Wandavision.
“Once we were shut down due to Covid, we went straight to post-production and continued editing,” said director Kari Skogland, speaking during a virtual global press conference, during which international media got to speak with members of the show’s cast and crew.
She also added that while the world was changing, they were able to really sharpen their focus and consequently sharpen the story.
Skogland also stated she was proud of the success of Wandavision and that it has set the bar for future Marvel series.
Just like any comic book adaptation, it will be tough to meet every fan’s wants and expectations. In order to bring out the best stories and still stay true to the comic books, executive producer and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Kevin Feige shared how he maintains a creative balance.
“It’s sort of taking what makes us interested and excited, and what could happen at the end of the episode to keep us interested because we’re all fans of the Marvel Studios,” Feige said.
“It’s kinda the same balance we’ve been trying to strike for the last 10 plus years and figuring out how to exceed but also subvert expectations,” he added.
What helped was also to imagine themselves as the characters in that world and how they will react to the repercussions of the Blip.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier kicks off right after the devastating events of Avengers: Endgame. While the world lost Iron Man and Captain America, Sam Wilson/ Falcon and Bucky Barnes/ Winter Soldier both lost their close friend, Steve Rogers.
The two of them do not get along well with each other and are trying to deal with the sense of loss in their own ways. However, the one thing they have in common is that they’re protective of who should be continuing the legacy of Captain America.
“Sam considers the shield a representation of the country that we live in. There's a lot of trepidation as far as how does a Black man represent a country that does not represent him?” explained Anthony Mackie, who plays Sam Wilson.
Talking more about his character Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier, actor Sebastian Stan explains that Bucky is in a quest for his identity and is in the process of accepting his past. Bucky also has to re-educate himself about the world around him because the ideals and principles that he lived and was driven by might not serve him the same way now.
“He's doing his best, finding his own path after Steve, after all those events. It feels like this is the first time he's finally free, so to speak, to look after himself. But it's not easy,” said Stan.
“How does this character now function in the world? What's his life going back to Brooklyn? How is he meeting people? How is he interacting at coffee shops? Is he dating? Is he thinking about another career? Is he in therapy? There were all these questions about where we could take this character. There were a lot of fun and exciting things that came out of that exploration,” he added.
On the other hand, Sam Wilson joins his sister Sarah in Louisiana in an effort to help save the family business but things are always not as easy as it seems.
“Sam became a hero because of where he’s from—he saw that the world was not fair,” explains head writer Malcolm Spellman. “He ran off to save the world by joining the military. But he’s always worried if joining the military was really about running away from problems at home—they seemed so insurmountable, it'd be easier to save the world.”
Regarding the stunt works in the Marvel series, both lead actors sung high praises for the stunt team and choreographer. “The great thing about this was nothing was jeopardized or watered down. We worked with the same stunt guys and choreographer so the stunts are amazing because of that,” Mackie said.
According to Mackie, the stunt guys had a field day because the stunts included taking weapons out of the equation making things more physical. The stunt works included hand-to-hand combat and all about utilizing strength in fight scenes. For Stan, he enjoyed the opportunity to always find new ways to perform action sequences.
When Mackie was asked about the responsibility to lead future heroes with Captain America gone, he jokingly answered “Try not to mess it up, Sebastian.”
“[We] didn’t want to be the first crappy Marvel project. Our job was to take the torch and not make a bad show. Steve Rogers will be proud that our show will not suck,” he further elaborated.
On whether there’ll be a second season, Feige didn’t give a definite answer but said this instead, “We get asked (that question) much more in television, because people expect it to be like what they know before: Where’s season 2? We approached it like how we do the movies. We better make this great or we won’t be able to do another one.”
“There are certainly ideas if we want to do another one,” he added.
Towards the end of the press conference, Mackie also jokingly revealed that he hopes to have a spinoff with Black Widow.
So, what can the audience expect from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
“Expect many surprises from the show,” Mackie said.
“What if we said no more surprises?” Feige quickly added right after and was met with laughter from the panel.
To this question, Stan hinted about the introduction of new characters such as Moon Knight played by Oscar Isaacs, whom he finds really interesting and cool.
Feige ended the global press conference by expressing gratitude for having wonderful and hardworking people working on the project.
“We never would have made the show if we didn’t have great actors and the fans who are willing to go places with us,” he said.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier six-episode limited series is currently airing every Friday on Disney Plus.
Want to read more about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
Find out how the minds in Marvel Studios bring out the best stories and still stay true to the comics HERE
Also, get a little more information about the villains and old acquaintances in the series HERE