Falcon And Winter Soldier Showrunner on Don Cheadle's Rhodey Return

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier creator Malcolm Spellman opens up about the bond between Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and James 'War Machine' Rhodes (Don Cheadle), but can't reveal if the two Avengers will reunite in the remaining five episodes of the Marvel Studios series. In the first episode, "New World Order," military veteran Rhodey is present when Sam Wilson (Mackie) entrusts the Smithsonian with the star-spangled shield of the retired Captain America (Chris Evans). When Rhodey asks Sam why he didn't take up the mantle, Sam admits it's because it feels like the shield belongs to Steve Rogers. In response, Rhodey tells him: "It's a new day, brother."

"I cannot talk about Rhodey showing up, but man, we were thrilled. We knew there are just certain moments that you know the people are going to respond to, you know. Black folk in particular, it's just going to be a shorthand with the fans there," Spellman told NME about Sam and Rhodey's exchange. "That was one of the things we all asked for — the writers' room was mostly Black — was to have that moment."

He explained, "Because we imagine Sam and Rhodey are the ones dealing with getting pulled over, Sam and Rhodey are the ones dealing with security following them when they're going shopping, right? We assume that in-between all these movies, them dudes probably called each other all the time. And the way they played it, you could feel it, it just surpassed what we imagined."

Spellman, who is Black, previously revealed Falcon and Winter Soldier would address whether it's "appropriate" for Sam to accept the symbolic shield — which the government reclaimed and swiftly handed to John Walker (Wyatt Russell), the new Captain America.

"You see it immediately in that first episode and it goes deeper and deeper and deeper. Sam being a Black man can't in good conscience just accept that symbol, without serious consideration to both sides of whether it's appropriate for him to don it, and we wanted that argument about not doing it to be legitimate," Spellman told Geek Culture. "If you're going to tell an honest story – it's not even about politics. You can't write a character who's a woman, you can't write a character who's Muslim or Catholic, or Jewish and just ignore that."

Spellman added: "Sam is a Black man and that is going to be at the forefront with those stars and stripes. And like I said, it just gets more and more intensive as the series continues and it does not end in an obvious place."

Watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. New episodes premiere on Fridays.

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