Although Avengers: Endgame concluded what has now become known as the Infinity Saga last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes on. In addition to a number of films currently in the works as part of Phase Four, some of your favorite Avengers will also be venturing to the small screen for limited series on Disney+, Disney's streaming service, which launched late last year.
The first series coming our way will be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which finds Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their fan-favorite roles as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, respectively. As is the case with everything Marvel related, details surrounding the series are still pretty scarce, but here's everything we know so far.
It's coming in August 2020. Although we would like to have it streaming directly into our eyeballs much, much sooner, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is reportedly six episodes, won't be available to stream until August 2020. However, once the floodgates open, good luck closing them again. The series will be followed by WandaVision (December 2020), Loki (spring 2021), and Hawkeye (fall 2021). Meanwhile, What If...?, Marvel's new animated series, will debut in summer 2021. Additionally, Marvel has also ordered three more series to debut after Hawkeye: Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight.
Production is currently underway. On Monday, Nov. 4, Stan and Mackie took over the Marvel Studios Instagram account to announce that production on the limited series had begun. Of course, the announcement was made via Instagram stories, so now all their fun banter is lost forever.
We have the first footage. Disney+ released the first footage of The Falcon and The Winter Solider during a Super Bowl promo, in which we see Sam practicing throwing the Captain America shield around. We've also got some shots of a broody Bucky in there, as well as what appears to be someone in a Captain America costume running out on a football field during halftime. It's not a lot to go on, but it's definitely got us amped for the series!
The show takes place after the events of Endgame. This is pretty obvious, especially when you consider the iconic shield that is part of the show's logo design, but the series will pick up in the wake of Endgame. This means that Sam will likely be dealing with having to live up to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as Captain America.
The tone of the series is being compared to Lethal Weapon. Fans have been campaigning for the series to be a buddy comedy after seeing the great dynamic between Sam and Bucky in Captain America: Civil War, and it sounds like they might get their wish. Head writer Malcolm Spellman told TV Guide at Disney's D23 Expo that he'd compare the tone of the show to the first Lethal Weapon movie. He then went on to also reference Bad Boys, 48 Hrs., and even Beverly Hills Cop. "All those great two-handers, we literally posted them up on the wall. They all come into a funnel, and probably Lethal Weapon is the closest," Spellman said.
Sam and Bucky's relationship is still evolving. "They've got lots to do together," director Kari Skogland told TV Guide at D23 while teasing what Sam and Bucky's friendship will be like in the show. "After Endgame, you can imagine they have to go on a big journey to figure out the next steps for both of them. So their relationship will be fun to watch, [as well as] troubled. They're going to go on a wild ride together."
Steve might be gone, but he's not forgotten. Stan and Mackie said Steve was Sam and Bucky's "third leg" when speaking to TV Guide at the D23 Expo. And Skogland more or less echoed those sentiments, going on to add that they'll certainly be missing their pal. "He was their best friend, so you can imagine that is something they have to mourn over," she said.
Multiple characters are coming back. We knew there was a reason Daniel Bruhl's Zemo lived at the end of Civil War, and during Marvel's panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige revealed it's because he's returning to stir up trouble for Cap's best buds. Feige later announced, at the D23 Expo, that Emily VanCamp is also returning to play Peggy's niece, Sharon Carter.
John Walker will be played by Wyatt Russell. In the comics, John Walker is (currently) known as U.S. Agent, but before that, he also was known as Super-Patriot, who openly opposed Captain America — the OG Captain America, Steve Rogers. It'll be interesting to see if that's still the case, considering that the mantel has now been passed off to Sam.
More recruits have joined. In December 2019, Deadline reported that Now Apocalypse's Desmond Chiam and The Terror's Miki Ishikawa joined the cast in unknown roles. In February, Deadline also reported that Carl Lumbly, who has appeared in a number of superhero projects over the course of his career, has reportedly also been cast. Unfortunately, his role is being kept under wraps for now.
Bucky is getting a haircut. When TV Guide talked to Stan and Mackie at D23 Expo, Mackie joked that they had to cut Bucky's hair. "No respectable man wears that hair," he said. When asked the same question about the status of Bucky's 'do, Skogland told TV Guide, "Expect the unexpected, that's all I can say."
It was eventually confirmed via posters and photos from set that Bucky does, in fact, have short hair, but it's unclear how or why except that Stan deserves it.
That might not be all that's changing. When we asked if Bucky might be getting any other upgrades (depending on your point of view about his hair, of course), Skogland remained predictably tight-lipped. However, she did promise that "it will be a lot of eye candy, let me put it that way." Sounds good to us!
We don't know yet if there will be a Season 2. Each of Marvel's new series will be limited in nature, but as we've learned recently, that word doesn't really have any meaning in Hollywood anymore. Unfortunately, we're not likely to know about the future of Sam and Bucky beyond this series for quite a while.
"I think anything with Marvel, they take it a piece at a time. And they are very story focused. So if it makes sense for a story, they will do it, and if not, they won't," said Skogland. "I have no idea what will be next, and I'm sure they would probably say the same thing. It's like, we're really working on this right now, with an all-hands-on-deck effort to make it the best it can possibly be. And then of course I hope [we can do more], but [there's] no word."
Additional reporting by Lindsay MacDonald
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)