Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
A new Captain America is about to rise.
Sam and the legacy
Less than a week before the show premieres, Deadline dropped an unexpected spoiler for the series by revealing that Steve Rogers has died of old age as it opens. That leaves Sam Wilson wrestling with what it means to be Captain America.
Mackie discussed Sam’s legacy in the comics and how it will be shown in the series.
“The idea of Sam Wilson and the character and the evolution of what’s now known as the Falcon, to be able to go back and dive into his backstory and his family and his surroundings only betters the character for the audience. We’re in a place now where we want the audience to know and learn these new characters especially since Kevin Feige killed Iron Man, we have to put ourselves in a position where we have to introduce these new characters to the audience and give them that relationship, that history they’ve built over 10 years, we now have 6 years to play catch up, post-Blip.”
Initially, Sam Wilson met Steve Rogers on a desert island where he lived with falcon Redwing. Training Sam, Steve allowed him to take on a flying costume to become the Falcon.
But in a controversial storyline, it was revealed Sam was once “Snap” Wilson, a street hustler whose behavior was too stereotypical of the “blacksploitation” movies of the time. The Red Skull had altered Sam’s mind to turn him into a hero as part of a long-range plot against Cap.
Breaking free, Sam has long wrestled with that past persona, with some writers choosing to ignore it altogether to make Sam a stronger character.
Mackie noted that complex history while stating, “I’m excited for the world to see the new and improved version of Sam Wilson.”
The Cap legacy
While some photos had hinted at Steve Rogers’ death, Mackie confirms it when discussing how Sam now has an even greater legacy to live up to.
It’s the pain, the idea of not being able to go on these missions, not being able to help his friend. There’s still people out there that still appreciate comradery and friendship…just like everybody else, you don’t want to see Steve Rogers go away…just like he was your Cap, Steve Rogers was Sam Wilson’s Cap… that’s why he says at the end of Endgame, ‘It feels like it’s someone else’s…”
The newest trailers and clips for the series indicate that instead of Sam, the Captain America uniform goes to John Walker (Wyatt Russell), an army veteran. Thus, the two may end up fighting to see who earns the shield at the end.
Mackie did add tongue in cheek that he was hoping Sam would end up in “a spinoff with Black Widow.” This plays on past jokes in imagining the pair had a behind-the-scenes relationship.
That would be ironic given that in the comics, Natasha and Bucky were once romantic partners.
Season 2 of Falcon and Winter Soldier?
Even though the show has yet to air, Feige was asked whether a second season is planned during the presser.
“It’s a funny question, and it’s one that we obviously get asked much more in television because people expect it to be like what people know before. We really did approach it like we do the movies…if we were able to do another one, there are certainly ideas. The slight difference of course…like with WandaVision, they really will go back and forth between the Disney+ series and the movies…sometimes will be a Season 2, sometimes will be a feature…”
Feige related how Falcon and Winter Soldier was planned before WandaVision, but the production was far more daunting than expected. Director Karl Skogland stated, “it was like making a six-hour film” and describing the Sam-Bucky partnership as a classic buddy-cop show.
While coy on any possible superhero cameos, Mackie summed it up on how they all feel on the finished product.
“So, we didn’t wanna be the first crappy Marvel project. Our job was to take the torch and not make a bad show. I’m very happy to say that Steve Rogers will be proud that our show does not suck.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney+ on March 19.