Disney+’s new Marvel TV series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” features two of its three primary personalities right there in the title. Left out: Captain America’s shield.
“It’s the main character, my man,” says creator and head writer Malcolm Spellman. “The shield is everything in this show.”
Like the recent hit “WandaVision,” “Falcon” catches up with members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” But instead of a sitcom vibe, the new six-episode series (premiering Friday, then weekly) shares the global adventure feel of the “Captain America” movies, although Cap –Chris Evans’ earnest do-gooder Steve Rogers – is gone.
Instead, the show shines the spotlight on his old pals Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), aka Falcon, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier, in the style of a buddy action film, even as it tackles timely themes of patriotism and race.
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Anthony Mackie (left) and Sebastian Stan star as the respective title superheroes of Marvel's "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" on Disney+. (Photo: MARVEL STUDIOS)
Ever since Mackie and Stan first met as onscreen foes in 2014’s “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and then became bickering allies in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” “it’s always been my dream, and we’ve talked about the idea of doing something like ’48 Hours’ or a ‘Miami Vice’ with the two of us,” Mackie says. “There’s no two people on earth who are more opposite, so it kind of works perfectly.”
The end of “Endgame” is where “Falcon” begins: After a time-travel jaunt, an elderly Cap returns to leave his star-spangled shield for Sam. Instead of immediately accepting the mantle, Sam says “It feels like it belongs to someone else.” That quote was “a guiding principle” for Spellman. “What would make someone say that and respond that way?” he says.
“If people think this show is about Sam carrying that shield and being Captain America, it is not.”
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