Despite having a busy film slate beyond Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios is readying to debut a plethora of new series on Disney+ over the next few years, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The series, of course, will see actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Sam "Falcon" Wilson and Bucky "Winter Soldier" Barnes, respectively. However, up until recently, very little has been known regarding the project. That has since changed with the hiring of a director and a hint at when the series will finally debut.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the series had secured a director in Kari Skogland, who has built and impressive resume throughout her nearly three-decade long career. Of course, like with most news stories these days, little bits of information were buried in that initial report, including a possible release date and a small plot tease. With that in mind, we've gathered the most important information to know regarding the forthcoming series in one handy guide.
What's Falcon & Winter Soldier About?
Although we've been given quite a bit of news in the past week regarding the series, little is actually known regarding the story being told in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Sure, we know the story will deal with Falcon taking on the Captain America mantle, but that's about it.
In the past, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige promised that the series would showcase the great chemistry between Mackie and Stan, something we've already seen hints of courtesy of the Captain America franchise. However, this will be the first time we're seeing these characters without Steve.
The duo has a bit of a shaky relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having famously given each other a hard time in Civil War, whether it be because a web-slinging kid managed to best them or a Volkswagen Beetle was a bit uncomfortable -- at least for Bucky, who found himself stuck in the backseat.
However, the unlikely friends seem to have finally come together following Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. And now, having said their goodbyes to Steve Rogers, the man who brought them together, they're finally set to take center stage and become who they're meant to be.
When Will the Series Be Set?
While the timeline of the series hasn't been confirmed, reports that the series would tackle the aftermath of Falcon taking over as Captain America suggest it takes place following the events of Avengers: Endgame. As fans will note, in the final moments of the film, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) hands off his iconic shield to a stunned Sam Wilson (Mackie) as Bucky watches on in the background.
It was an event fans have been eager to see for years, as many have long questioned who would take up the shield when Chris Evans finally left Captain America behind him. However, as this show is about both Falcon and the Winter Soldier, there's also the potential for flashbacks -- at least when it comes to Bucky. So, while most of the series will presumably be set after Endgame, a few dives into the past seem entirely possible.
What Other Characters Can We Expect?
As it stands, there are a total of four cast members set for the series, with Mackie and Stan set as the leads and two of their Captain America: Civil War co-stars set to join them on the smaller screen. Actor Daniel Brühl and actress Emily VanCamp are in talks to join the Disney+ streaming series as Baron Zemo and Sharon Carter, respectively.
Brühl's Zemo, of course, played a vital role in the events of Civil War. It remains to be seen whether we'll see him suit up, but Zemo's story was far from over at the end of Civil War, as T'Challa famously opted to let him live despite his crimes. As for Sharon Carter, VanCamp played a large role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, she was more of a background character in Civil War, and many fans have been eager to see her return to the franchise ever since.
VanCamp currently stars on Fox's The Resident, in which she's a lead, so it remains to be seen if Sharon will be a recurring character. With Disney now owning Fox, it would seem something could easily be worked out if she was being eyed for a large role in the series.
Given the fact that the shows are expected to intersect with the films in a "big way," it's possible we'll see more established characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe return for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. For now we'll just have to wait and see what other surprises are in store.
When Will Production Begin?
Like with the films, it appears Marvel Studios is starting production a little under a year out from release. Stan said that production will kick off on the series this October, reportedly in Atlanta. This, of course, can always change, as production dates often get shifted. But it seems as though the series is in pre-production and will, more than likely, wrap up casting over the next couple of months ahead of the projected start date.
While the project is very much being developed for the small screen, each series is being envisioned to retain the theatrical experience we've come to expect from Marvel Studios. It's unknown how long the shoot will be, but it'll more than likely follow a traditional film shoot, allowing for ample post-production time to finish any final touches ahead of its highly-anticipated premiere.
When Will the Series Debut on Disney+?
In the initial report claiming Skogland would helm the miniseries, it was indicated that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would hit Disney+ sometime in August 2020. While that's far from an official release date, it does make sense. The only series confirmed to debut in the streaming service's first year is Loki starring Tom Hiddleston, with WandaVision an The Falcon and the Winter Soldier having been set to debut in its second year from the get-go.
Interestingly enough, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has had more public movement on it than the other two series, both of which were expected to hit before it. With that in mind, the release date could always shift, though it's doubtful it'll be too far off from the reported August 2020 release.
It's also unknown whether or not Disney+ will follow the Netflix binge model or release episodes in a weekly manner, a la Hulu. That should become more clear when Disney+ launches this November with its first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
How Many Episodes Will There Be?
The series is expected to be just six episodes. In the beginning, reports indicated that the Marvel Studios shows on Disney+ could range from six to eight episodes, however, it appears the studio is taking the less-is-more approach. This is something that should please those that were often frustrated with the length of the Marvel/Netflix shows, with both fans and critics alike citing far too many filler episodes throughout each of the series. These are large stories being told in tight confines. For now, that's rather promising.
It's also expected to be a single season, with Feige previously teasing that the events of the shows will impact the future of the films. Given the secrecy of Marvel Studios upcoming slate, with the exception of Black Widow and The Eternals, two films gearing up to begin production in the coming months, it remains to be seen what the studio has in store for both Falcon and the Winter Soldier beyond this series. However, the six-episode series should provide us with more answers than questions when it finally arrives.
Directed by Kari Skogland (The Handmaid's Tale, The Punisher), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan and will be released on Disney+. The series is expected to debut late next year.