Why The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Became a Disney+ Series Instead of a Movie

With new shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, Marvel Studios is branching [...]

With new shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, Marvel Studios is branching out of movie theaters and creating brand new series for the Disney+ platform, but why couldn't these projects exist as movies? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding from films to new serialized projects in order to allow more characters to receive the spotlight, and these new shows are focusing on some of the heroes that were left on the fringes in films like Avengers: Endgame. So why is a project like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier better suited as a Disney+ series rather than a film?

Director Kari Skogland addressed that question during a recent interview with Discussing Film. The filmmaker revealed why Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes needed more time in their first featured adventure in the MCU.

"From the beginning, we were making a 6-hour film and just figuring out where to snip it at the certain hour marks. So [showrunner Malcolm Spellman] and I did a lot of looking at movies and shows, but primarily movies that were in our paradigm because we have a buddy-cop kind of relationship going on… I looked at a lot of different influences to help me put it into a box."

Skogland went on to explain her reasoning for calling these Disney+ shows "6-hour films." Of course, the benefit of longer runtimes includes the luxury of diving deeper into these characters.

"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 a film. The films are high octane already and they're immersed in some world-saving event. So it's very hard to go off on a little tangent with a character because the stakes are so high in one singular direction. But on a series, you're able to meander a little bit. We're able to get inside the lives of our characters. We're able to do a little more twists and turns that are a little less streamlined in the end…and also world build."

The first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.

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