With as many heroes as we know exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it can sometimes be surprising to watch events unfold in a movie or TV shows and wonder why there aren't more people showing up to help. Take the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, for example. Nearly the entire episode takes place in New York City, and depicts a terrorist attack on government officials. This took place right in the backyard of both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, both of which are fully established in the MCU, but they were nowhere to be found.
According to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showunner Malcolm Spellman, an appearance from Spider-Man was initially part of the plan. Spellman explained to Inverse that they had wanted to add some cameos to the series that were vetoed by Marvel, since the reason for having them didn't come about organically.
"Of course," Spellman responded when asked if he had considered any big New York cameos. "Then Kevin Feige tells you, 'No. Stop it.' Listen, when you first show up to these projects, in your mind you think you’re gonna get to use everybody in the MCU. But Marvel always asks, 'Does this person belong in this story? You cannot just geek out and put all of our characters in your project because you like them. They have to occur organically.' So Spider-Man did not make it."
When you think about the story of the MCU, it actually makes sense not to have Spider-Man in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, even though it does take place just around the corner from him. These projects take place in the year 2023, with the whole franchise hitting fast-forward after Avengers: Infinity War. Not long after everyone comes back and things start getting back to normal, Spider-Man's true identity is revealed and he is believed to be a murderer, so he is forced to go on the run.
So, even if Spider-Man wanted to help Sam and Bucky stop the Flag-Smashers from carrying out their attack, he probably wouldn't have been able to.
Are there any characters you think should have shown up in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Let us know in the comments!