The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will follow the lead of WandaVision before it in terms of shining some light on characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose tenure in films has not allowed them to be as fleshed out as some other heroes. This time around, director Kari Skogland has her hands full in directing Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, and other in what she describes as "a real international thriller." Not only is Skogland honing in on a fantastic new design of action sequences for the Disney+ show's characters but she is also delivering their core characteristics like never before.
Bucky Barnes, for example, is being given the screen time to examine how his time as a brainwashed HYDRA agent weighs on him as he carries a burden of guilt every day. "I think one of the most important things to discuss about that is the consequences of his actions," Skogland says. "We don't necessarily ever dig into consequences, right? We have the violent act and then cinematically we tend to walk away and we forget that there's collateral damage. So he, in his guilt is dealing with the knowledge that there's collateral damage."
Bucky is back in the world, going on dates and trying to get acclimated as a 106-year-old man living in a post-Thanos snap era of the universe. Meanwhile, Sam Wilson seems to not be missing a beat in the professional side of his life, acting as a super hero but now with the military. Skogland tapped into Sam's family life and the challenges Black Americans face everyday after opening the show on the single-best action sequence featuring the Falcon to date.
"In the case of the flight, I did a lot of studying of what's on the Internet in terms of the various action groups that jump out of planes or parachutes or, you know, the GoPro kind of world that is, I think, very experiential," Skogland explained. "So I wanted us to feel like we were with him. And so as compared to being, you know, looking at him, I wanted to feel like we were flying right lockstep with him."
Read the full interview with Skogland below!
Falcon in Action
ComicBook.com: You start on an epic sequence. No one has ever done Falcon action like this before in any of the many Marvel movies.
Kari Skogland: Thank you, I'm thrilled. That was my goal, really to take... I've said from the beginning "Are we gonna take Falcon and the flight and we're gonna just make him fly like we've never seen him do that before." So yes, that was really a goal.
CB: I caught almost Iron Man vibes in the way that the shot was on his face and the Falcon goggles interface. I also caught Winter Soldier vibes in the gritty, highly choreographed stuff but you made it all unique in the best ways. What was your inspiration for Falcons, both in flight and for grounded, on his feet action?
KS: Well, in the case of the flight I did a lot of studying of what's on the Internet in terms of the various action groups that jump out of planes or parachutes or, you know, the GoPro kind of world that is, I think, very experiential. So I wanted us to feel like we were with him. And so as compared to being, you know, looking at him I wanted to feel like we were flying right lockstep with him. And that's what those cameras and that aesthetic has taught us. I guess we've evolved with understanding that that's what it is. So it's a particular aesthetic though. And so it was tricky to put that on all our guys jumping out of planes in squirrel suits and such. But we had an amazing team.
In terms of all of the hand-to-hand combat or on the ground, it was all to be as real as possible. So, obviously everything's quite choreographed for safety reasons and such, and we pushed the envelope, but... And we are dealing, you know, with, in some cases, super soldiers and in some cases, you know, with Bucky and all that. But it was to be as real and grounded as possible. That was the goal. So scrappier, you know, and it shouldn't feel, it should feel unexpected.
CB: My tin foil hat Marvel nerd saw Redwing laser out part of the plane. My brain went, "Is that a Stark Tech reference?" I have to ask, is that an intentional Stark Tech reference like Iron Man's laser weapon?
KS: No, you're looking too far into that. But I can't say that Stark Tech isn't involved. It's just not particularly involved.
CB: Okay! Thank you.
KS: The world has blipped, right? So it's a new world.prevnext
CB: It's really cool to see Bucky's mental health and the guilt that he's carrying become such an integral part of the show. What are you going to do with the guilt and the mental health that he's carrying into the show after everything he's been through?
KS: Well, I think one of the most important things to discuss about that is the consequences of his actions. So violence, we never, we don't necessarily ever dig into consequences, right? We have the violent act and then cinematically we tend to walk away and we forget that there's collateral damage. So he, in his guilt is dealing with the knowledge that there's collateral damage. And so how do you deal with that? So we'll go on the ride with him but that's very new, you know, for not only the MCU but for cinema in general, cause we tend to avoid that truth.
CB: I talked to Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Anthony admitted he's jealous of some of the action scenes that Sebastian gets to be a part of. Who in your opinion gets the best action moment throughout the show?
KS: Oh, I don't know. That's a hard one. Anthony does some pretty awesome, I have to say. They're neck and neck for awesomeness.prevnext
CB: After going through WandaVision and watching how there was so much talk of surprise actors coming in and stuff like that, have you guys like learned anything from watching the WandaVision press tour in terms of teasing cameos or surprises or anything like that?
KS: What's great about MCU and certainly the Marvel of it, everyone is unique, it's got its own DNA. So I don't, well, they might learn from one another for sure. They never try to replicate. It's always a new day, new deal. So I would say, you know, everything has got its own little package. So, they'll never try to repeat.prevnext
The Rest of the MCU
CB: I noticed when Sam said that Captain America is gone, the camera goes to Rhodey. Is that to kind of make us also feel the fact that this world has lost more than Cap? To remind us that we've also lost Rhodey's good friend Tony Stark?
KS: Well, I think it was to say that the gravitas of the moment, and also, I think Rhodey wants Sam perhaps to pick up the shield and Sam is not necessarily going to. So somebody, the inference is somebody's gonna have to do what... Can the world be without Captain America? Can there be that world? And that's the question we pose. And we go on that journey with Sam. So I think that was the intention there.
CB: Does Rhodey play any part going forward after the first episode?
KS: Well, you know that if I told you somebody would have to kill me?
CB: Fair enough! I also caught that there was the line, "Allies are now enemies. Alliances are torn apart." In your opinion, you know this world very deeply, what is the state of the Avengers in this timeline that we're in right now?
KS: Well, we're post blip, right? So it means that the world has changed. So, allies are enemies really is referencing more to border changes and the fact that the world, the world pre-Blip was one thing, and now, as a result of half the population being gone, the world changed and reformed and people became friends of countries that were enemies had to rely on each other.
People had to rely on each other differently. Elitism probably went away, you know, all that in first that the world changed, maybe even for the better because people had to, not unlike the pandemic, we've all had to, you know, be cooperative. And then people blipped back and a whole bunch of people wanted to go back the way it was. And is that a good thing? And so that's that conversation.prevnext
Still To Come
CB: We're bringing Sharon Carter into the show. Tell me about bringing her back to the MCU and crafting what kind of characters she's going to be?
KS: Oh she's badass. She's really badass, it's all great. You know, she, well, she's been on the run and so she's got something to prove.
CB: On the hells of WandaVision beeing very contained, I think this is going be a bit of a globe-trotter. We got to Switzerland in the first episode, I think we're going to Madripoor soon. Can you just talk to me at all about kind of how sprawling the show gets to be before it's over?
KS: We jumped around the world so it's a real international thriller.prev