The cast and crew of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier talk to Yahoo Entertainment about their thoughts on following WandaVision on Disney+. "I'm stressed," said Malcolm Spellman, writer and executive producer of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- Enjoy your ride, Buck.
- No, you can't call me that.
- Why not? That's what Steve called you.
- Steve new me longer. And Steve had a plan.
KEVIN POLOWY: You guys were going to be the first MCU show out of the gate at Disney+. It ended up being "Wanda Vision," which a lot of folks just lost their minds over. Did you guys follow that show? Did you follow that hype? Was there any part of you that was like, damn, we got to follow that now?
ANTHONY MACKIE: Not at all. Our show is very different. If you look-- I think it was great that "Wanda Vision" actually went first, because it set up the audience's ideas of what this Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be on the streamer. It's very different, because "Wanda Vision" was a completely different idea of a Marvel show.
So you know, it was great that they went first. But our show is so different. Sebastian and I are very different than Elizabeth and Paul.
KARL SKOGLAND: The bar is high, obviously. I'm thrilled for them that it was such a success. And it's such a creative show.
So what is terrific is ours is completely different. As is true of MCU and certainly in Marvel is they really connect every project with its own unique DNA. And so there's no rules I guess is the way to put it. And that's very empowering.
MALCOLM SPELLMAN: Anthony Mackie said the other day, we was doing a group thing and he was like, well, all I know is we're not the ones that are going to ruin Marvel. I don't know about them other shows, but hopefully we will honor the momentum that "Wanda Vision" go for us. But yeah, it's-- I'm stressed, you know what I'm saying?
KEVIN POLOWY: Thank you for being the first person on team [? FAWS ?] to answer that question honestly. I think "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" obviously is a little more conventional when it comes to the tone of the past MCU adventures we've seen. How would you guys describe the target tone that you take?
MALCOLM SPELLMAN: It was-- what Marvel had before I ever walked through the door was that concept of a buddy two hander. There's an array of tones within that genre, if that's what that is, that you can pick from. And where we settled was somewhere like on the comedic end is "Rush Hour" and "Ride Along," right? And we wanted to be more on the dramatic end, and what we found was "Lethal Weapon" and "48 Hours" in particular dealt with really very real issues of those times. "48 Hours" dealt with race, "Lethal Weapon" dealt with the Vietnam War. People don't even really think about that. Though that genre allows you to tackle real issues while keeping the journey fun.
KEVIN POLOWY: The series opens with a crazy high flying sequence. It announces right off the bat and this may be TV, but the action will not be spared. What can you say about filming that opening?
KARL SKOGLAND: I did a lot of research and wanted to have it very experiential so it really felt like we were flying. Cameras were plucked all over them. They were on their helmets and their feet and hands. So we did that. And we hired an amazing team who, you know, did many jumps to get all of the flight sequence stuff.
Obviously, rigorous planning because of the danger factor. And there's a story to it. So certain action has to happen. It has to happen while you're dropping at, you know, 500 miles an hour or whatever it is, you know, from a plane. So there was a lot of very detailed minutiae planning that goes in it.
KEVIN POLOWY: Anthony did you get to do anything new stunt wise for that? Like did you Tom Cruise at all for that scene?
ANTHONY MACKIE: I always do all the flying stuff, because it's just me on a jerry rig looking left, looking right, and then they paint me in. So I always do all the flying stuff. And you know, Sebastian and I had a nice roll in the hay for the ending part. [LAUGHS]
SEBASTIAN STAN: Yes.
KEVIN POLOWY: Bucky goes on a date in the premiere and he does say something along the lines of like I haven't danced since 1943. I mean, I think we all know what that means. Bucky's a little thirsty these days. Are we going to see him get--
SEBASTIAN STAN: Bucky's a little rusty.
KEVIN POLOWY: Rusty or thirsty.
SEBASTIAN STAN: Those knees are, you know, making sounds once in a while when he gets on the--
ANTHONY MACKIE: Bucky is aching for some bacon.
KEVIN POLOWY: Are we-- I know you can spoil too much, but are we going to see him get that kind of action in the series?
SEBASTIAN STAN: Yeah. I mean, of course, like both of these guys get their strengths and weaknesses, actually. Like I feel like they're featured pretty well in the series. And I think they complement each other well, and in terms of those action sequences as you're going to keep seeing, you know?
KEVIN POLOWY: Anthony, both Kevin Felge and Malcolm Spellman have said that the show is going to explore race and identity in America probably more than past MCU projects. How would you describe the show's approach?
ANTHONY MACKIE: One of the big things about Marvel and one thing that I really enjoy about being a part of the MCU is it's always very timely. The stories, the characters, the obstacles, they always turn out to be very timely. And there's nothing different with this show. This show deals with a lot of baggage that we harbor as Americans and with the idea of these characters moving forward post blip.
We're living kind of in a post blip society now. Because after COVID, we're going to have to learn what our new normal is. Just like in the MCU, once we came back from the blip after five years, everyone has to figure out what their new normal is. So it's the exact same thing and it makes the show very timely dealing with, you know, economic structure, race, and the idea of not only being an American, but being a human.
KARL SKOGLAND: This is a conversation-- it's a very important conversation to be having all the time, but in particular, it's really bubbled to the fore in the last year. What does it mean for a black man to pick up such an iconically white symbol. What does that mean for the character? It's a real exploration of what we have traditionally laid into this iconic red, white, and blue of it. And now we are taking it down another road and we're really exploring what that is.
And we don't necessarily want to give answers. I mean, I think it's also really important to provoke discussion. So it's-- nothing is tied up in nice, neat little bows. The notion is to say this needs to always be discussed and continually be embraced.
MALCOLM SPELLMAN: It was inescapable. I always tip my hat to "Black Panther," which made it possible. Because "Black Panther" proved Marvel fans would go on a ride with heroes that don't look like heroes have looked in the past. And you know, the Killmonger speech, we had that printed up and put on the wall, the hashtag #KillmongerWasRight, because we felt like that was just our jumping off point for this one.
T'Challa is African, which is different from being African-American. And T'Challa-- RIP the great Chadwick, like you said, he made all this possible-- was a king. Sam is a Black man. And not only is he a Black man, he's a Black man from the South. And we knew that the stars and stripes, that symbol in his hand doesn't mean the same thing it does is Steve's hand.
And in fact, we wanted to just lean into the fact, like give Sam a back story, including a family with strong opinions about it so that the audience would understand why he doesn't take that mantle on. That he doesn't see it as even being appropriate, because it just means something else. You can't hide from it. And we would have been making a fake show if we tried to.