On Sunday, the cast and crew of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier joined together on Zoom for a virtual press conference. This includes Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, director Kari Skogland, writer Malcolm Spellman, and stars Anthony Mackie and Sebstian Stan. ESPN's Kelley Carter hosted the conference.
"This is the second [show] that is coming out onto Disney+ but it was our first one that we started," he explained. "Malcolm got to experience a bunch of filmmakers who had never done TV before, trying to figure it out...It was really meant to prove, to yourselves, to the audience, and to Mr. Mackie and Stan there, that just because it's on TV doesn't mean that it's not going to be as big as a movie." He goes on to explain that the show will explore Sam and Bucky as characters more deeply than the MCU has allowed so far.
Skogland chimes in about her approach to the series. "I approached it like a film," she said. "From the beginning, we were making a six hour film and just figuring out where to snip it at the certain hour marks...I look at a lot of different influences to help me put it into a box. I looked as crazy as David Lee or Midnight Cowboy so I really go very wide and then put it in a pot and stir it and come up with something that is uniquely signature for our look."
How did Spellman land on a tone for the show? "There was about a 12 second moment in Civil War where it feels like every single Marvel fan knew that these two guys were gonna be able to support a movie or a franchise. In doing the interviews, you can't really take credit for the tone because in that 12 seconds, everybody knew what it was gonna be...the buddy two-hands genre, what we loved about them is the range, tonally, is you can go from as gritty as 48 Hours to as funny as Rush Hour...it allows Sebastian and Anthony to do what they do and create that magic." They were also to take on "very real issues" with these tones.
Mackie talks about diving into Sam's life outside of the Avengers like his hometown. "It's always a surprise when the minds get together and the information trickles down to you. When I first read the script, I was really happy and acknowledged the fact from Louisiana, specifically, because that's the best state in the union and New Orleans is the best city in the world. I had one request that if he was from Louisiana that I had to eat crawfish on camera. I don't know who said no but somebody said no!...The idea of Sam Wilson, he's always evolved in the world of the Marvel comic books and now he's evolved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you remember when Sam first started out, he was a hustler, and as African American culture evolved, Stan Lee evolved him into different iterations of himself. I'm exited for the world to see the new and improved version of Sam Wilson.
Stan opens up about exploring Bucky's mental health. "I've spent 12 years with the character," Stan says. "You grow and evolve with the character...I felt like we had established the character a certain way...then we had to go into this and go, 'Alright, well, what is he like now?' Part of that was us honing in on his sense of humor so to speak...that came into the tone of the series and his dynamic with Sam Wilson and my own dynamic with Anthony and then marrying the two...We're really finally kind of zooming in on his quest for identity and in terms of just really accepting his past and re-educating himself about the world that he's currently in."
The conference was opened up to live questions.
"The idea of Sam Wilson and the character and thee 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," Mackie says. "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 platy catch up, post-Blip."
Can there be more seasons?
"Who's gonna answer that one?" Feige says to a laugh from the panel. "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's 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..."
Why is Sam reluctant to take on the Captain America mantle?
Sam's whole thing is he went on this journey, this Avenger journey, over 6 movies with Steve because of his respect and admiration for Steve. He says when Captain America shows up at your door, you answer," Mackie explained. "That being said, 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 eelse, 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'...He's a fan just like everyone else...Sam is just a regular guy who won te lottery when Black Widow knocked on his door and he fell in love and was hoping to have a spinoff with Black Widow."prevnext
What does a show allow which a film does not?
"It's a lot more work," Skogland joked. "I've been calling the movies, they're like the snack and this is like the meal. You really can get involved with the characters in 6 hours in a way that you can't in the film. The films are high octane already and they're immersed in some world saving event...on a series you're able to meander a little bit. We're ble to get inside the lives of our characters. We're able to do a little more twists and turns that aren't as much straight-line to the end...and also word build."
How difficult was it to weave in the action with the real world issues that people face outside of their super heroics?
"I think a huge part of that was process," Spellman says. "We didn't just tackle one episode at a time...Vertical story telling is features...a series allows horizontal storytelling and the rhythm of the storytelling is completely different...by focusing on that horizontal story...before we even know what the individual episodes do, it created that feeling that you're talking about where there's almost this fabric that's draped over the entire series and that was born from the process."
How has Sam and Bucky's love/hate bromance changed since Steve's retirement?
"I don't thin kit has changed," Stan says. "It's only gone further divide. They're actually in similar places at the start of the show because of Steve's missing and the consequences of that. It's sort of thrown them both into opposite corners in terms of facing their lives, their demons, the questions... They've got different things they're facing but they're in a similar place in terms of questions they're asking, I believe."prevnext
More surprises throughout the show?
"Yes, there are many surprises," Mackie says. "We can't say who they all are but there are many surprises."
The cast then goes on to talk about how the stunts and production on set did not change much at all by comparison to a movie.
Has the success of WandaVision made Marvel Studios more focused on streaming content?
"We were pretty committed," Feige explains. "It is just another marker of us staying the course...Between that and [TFATWS] that you'll see soon, we've really been able to do that and we're just continuing that. It was really just a nice boost of confidence that we can continue down the path we started years ago."
Has the release shift changed anything?
"Once we were shut down through COVID, we didn't skip a beat and went straight into post-production and were able to continue editing and just sharpened the pencil," Skogland said. "While the world was changing, we were really able to sharpen our focus. When we went back, we really knew what we were going for, what we were shooting for to finalize the series. It didn't change anything, it really just helped us focus, I guess."prevnext
Which of the new characters coming to the MCU do they want to
"One character that sounds really, really, really cool to me is the character that Oscar Isaac is gonna play," Stan said. He's particularly excited by the story he heard about Moon Knight. Mackie says he really wants to be in She-Hulk and spend some time in Blade world.
Will Falcon and Winter Soldier have a significant impact on the MCU or is it contained?
The characters of Bucky and Sam are essential to the MCU, whatever they go through could and should have an impact on the MCU," Feige says. "It his hard to navigate every fan theory that's going to pop up. Not everything is going to be as world shattering...there can be character shifts that have massive, massive implications for the future."
Will HYDRA and SHIELD play roles?
"You can always look at the comics," Feige says. "There are new organization likes SWORD that you saw in WandaVision. There is always an inherent need for some organizations in the MCU."
What will the US Agent origin story be like and does it tie to previous shows?
"The past is prologue. The clues are everywhere in what has lead to this moment. Certainly, that character and that name, sometimes it's just a name and sometimes we do pull of course from their lineage and biography in the comics...Stay tuned over the course of this series."0comments
Responsibility leading future heroes?
"Endgame was a monumental shift of the super hero universe," Mackie says. "The scope of that movie, the idea of that film, is something larger than I think anyone imagined. Our goal, and we've talked about this, I'll speak for Sebastian, was not to mess it up. 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."prev