The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended its six-episode streak last Friday on Disney + and Disney + Hotstar, but the Marvel series left a lot of narrative threads open – and left a lot of questions for us. Spoilers ahead, of course. How did Power Broker / Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) or Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) come into the picture? What’s going on with the US Agent / John Walker (Wyatt Russell) Redemption Arc? What was going on with those vaccines that the Flag Smashers were smuggling? Why is Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) always called the Winter Soldier? And what can we expect from the new Captain America / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in Captain America 4?
Following the finale, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier creator, chief writer and executive producer Malcolm Spellman spoke to Gadgets 360 and answered all of these questions – some in typical Marvel Cagey fashion. – well, except the last one. In fact, Spellman wouldn’t even confirm the existence of Captain America 4. “It’ll be on Marvel if that happens,” he says. Asked about his director’s wishlist for a Captain America movie, Spellman didn’t take the bait and just said, “Oh, I can’t say that. I don’t know, too many good choices.
The following is an edited transcript of Gadgets 360’s conversation with Spellman. Some questions have been reorganized for clarity.
Falcon and Winter Soldier Creator working on Captain America 4: report
360 Gadgets: While writing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, were you always aware that you were writing it for a Season 2 or Captain America 4?
Malcolm Spellman: No, you are working in the moment. And Marvel, they want you to write the best version of what you’re writing right now, and don’t worry about anything else – they handle it all.
One of the things that started out quite predictably was that we always knew Sam would end up being Captain America given what we saw in Avengers: Endgame. How did you manage to write around that to make sure it didn’t look like point A to point B?
It was the mission statement from the start. And we felt pretty sure if – you know, I didn’t even think about asking Marvel what they wanted when Steve handed the shield to Sam and he said, “It feels like that. belongs to someone else. I don’t know how much they thought about it. But that was the start of Sam’s journey as there’s ambivalence there from the moment it’s handed to him. And we knew we wanted to make it very, very difficult and very, very meaningful whether or not he took the shield. And making this trip feel complete and in-depth was to make sure that Sam’s reluctance was rooted in things the audience would be like, “Yeah, I get it. I understand. It is not an easy choice. Basically, we wanted to make sure that this decision wasn’t at any time easy for Sam. To make Sam’s journey finally accepting it a satisfying one, as if you had been through it with him. Instead of guessing whether or not he was going to take on the lead role or not, we wanted to take audiences on a journey of what it would be like to make a tough choice.
We’ve had a whole new bunch of new stuff this season. You have the Power Broker. You brought in Valentina. Then Zemo appeared from time to time, and John Walker became the American agent. Were all of these items decided by you guys or were there some items donated by Marvel that they need for upcoming movies or tv shows?
It’s smoother than that. Marvel offers you a menu, and that menu is not “Use this person, use this person”. That is, “Here are the characters from the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] we would love you to explore them if they fit into your story. And then you choose from their menu, and everything else flows organically.
And was there anything that you found during the writing process and Marvel said, “Well you can’t use that one because we already have it in a movie or a show? TV to come. “
Well, for example, what happens is – as I describe it, they put you in a bubble. Your bubble is the equivalent of the genre, if Spider-Man is on top of the Empire State Building and he sees Iron Man go by, he knows Iron Man is up to something, but he doesn’t know what it is. is just. It’s the same for us. They don’t tell you what’s going on around you, but if you say, “Oh, I want Wanda, or I want Vision to appear on my show,” and they say, “I don’t think they’ll appear on your show ”, and you’re like,“ Okay, I understand, WandaVision has to come. “
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Marvel fans love to dive into the theories and prepare new ones with each episode. One thing they spotted is that in episode two, the Flag Smashers are transporting these vaccines in trucks. And fans suddenly started to wonder if there was a bigger plot attached to it. Can you shed some light on this if there had ever been an intrigue?
That is, there is – you know, all I can say is that the MCU is a living, breathing organism and it looks more and more like books in its range and scope. And so, you know, all of these threads can be about something, potentially related to bigger things.
In the finale, John Walker, after his kind of drastic measures in episode four, it almost looks like he’s being driven towards some sort of redemption. He begins to support Sam and Bucky in stopping the Flag Smashers. Was it a redemption bow on purpose that you wanted to set it up on, or was it something that you –
Well, we didn’t want to judge the character. Which means if you let the character tell the truth about what he or she would do, then a minimum of redemption for John Walker – I don’t think anyone believed his fight back from where he was in it. episode four was wrong. It was very honest and so it was the character himself who dictated this redemption. But it’s obviously, you can see it on the stage with Val, it’s partial redemption. [Laughs] He’s still John Walker.
Since you mentioned Valentina, there have been reports that she was supposed to appear in the Black Widow movie before, which was delayed due to the pandemic and that’s why it ended up first on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. At what point in the writing process did you know you could include this new character played by the incredible Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
So remember my Spider-Man analogy, okay. They don’t tell me what’s going on Black Widow, they won’t tell me what’s going on Moon knight. You just get clues. So I didn’t know if Val was appearing elsewhere. She stayed in there for a while – f… you know, it was such a long process. I don’t know man, she stayed in there for a long time.
On the one hand, there’s Walker killing someone in cold blood. But the other Avengers, including Sam, also take extreme measures to stop people, from the first episode where he blows up helicopters to stop terrorists. How do you balance these things out and make it feel like a cohesive world?
Well, that is, I think, a very sophisticated question. That’s where it comes from, no. Ideally, no one wants their heroes to kill someone. But in the heat of a battle where you’re trying to save lives, and someone who’s deadly and [has] bad intention is preventing you from saving lives, you are going to take more extreme measures. When John Walker killed this person, look where they came from. It came from rage and revenge. There was no good to be served when he did this.
At the end of the show, the title card changes to Captain America and the Winter Soldier. It’s appropriate because it was Falcon’s trip to Captain America. But why is Bucky’s title still stuck on Winter Soldier? He sometimes speaks to White Wolf during the series. What is missing from his career so that he still has not lost this title?
It’s, in my opinion, creatively – I think he’s officially passed the Winter Soldier stage. And I just think you should ask Marvel. I think it’s just the poetry of the words, like, I don’t know if it was more complicated than that. You want to feel like it happened, but yeah, a lot of people ask me about it.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier airs on Disney + and Disney + Hotstar.