The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 is shaping up to be a huge deal. The next entry in the Disney Plus series will address the fallout from that episode 4 finale, but that isn't the only major thing that'll happen in episode 5.
Recently, rumors have circulated online that the late Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August 2020 after battling colon cancer, would be reprising his role as Black Panther/King T'Challa in episode 5. This speculation was the result of comments made by showrunner Malcolm Spellman, who had told ComicBook.com that a major cameo in the next episode would make viewers cry.
With episode 5 just a few days away from release, though, other Falcon and the Winter Soldier's creative team members have moved to quash those rumors. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Marvel producer Nate Moore put that conjecture to bed, stating that a cameo from Boseman was "not going to happen".
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“I would be honest if it was [happening]," Moore told Vanity Fair's Still Watching podcast when asked about the rumor. "Chad's passing is a whole life thing, and I loved the guy as much as the character. I think we have to be very careful and thoughtful about when he appears, because he meant so much to a lot of people as much as he meant to us. But yeah, we wouldn't use that as a ‘Come next week; maybe you’ll see Panther!’ We wouldn't, and he's not.”
Speculation about Boseman making a posthumous appearance had been enhanced further by the arrival of the Dora Milaje, the Wakandan king's personal bodyguards, in episodes 3 and 4 of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. With Moore categorically denying that this is happening, though, it's unclear who the rumored cameo will be.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Who could the huge character cameo be?
If you suspect it'll be Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), you can stop thinking that, too. In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Spellman suggested that episode 5's secret cameo will be a "grounded character" who he would love to see partnered with "one of the world shakers", such as Thor.
Given that Cap was himself a world shaker, it's highly unlikely that he'll appear in episode 5. Sure, Steve Rogers is as grounded as they come, but it seems as if this cameo appearance will be someone who audiences haven't seen before in the MCU. Why do we say that? Well, according to SlashFilm, that's because it will be.
Reporting what they had heard ahead of episode 5's air date, SlashFilm has claimed that the character isn't someone who has appeared in the MCU yet. Additionally, they say that this person or individual is "primed" to appear in an upcoming film. SlashFilm adds that this character is an existing Marvel Comics individual and will be played by a well-known performer.
Spellman also told Rotten Tomatoes that this character's personality is "strong", so it appears that this mystery guest will immediately steal the limelight when they do show up.
There are currently 11 MCU movies in development for Phase 4. Each film has ensemble casts, so it might appear – on the surface – a difficult task to whittle down who this individual may be. However, we can bring that number down considerably based on SlashFilm's assertion that it's someone we haven't seen before.
It's highly unlikely to be someone from Marvel's The Eternals as, due to the film's synopsis, those superpowered beings will only have begun to reveal themselves to the world following Avengers: Endgame's events. We suspect that story will be self-contained, so don't expect a crossover appearance from someone like Ikaris or Thena.
It likely won't be someone from Black Widow – that film's events presuppose Falcon and the Winter Soldier – and shouldn't be anyone from Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or Thor: Love and Thunder. Add in Captain Marvel 2, Black Panther II, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania, too, as those movies' main cast members have all appeared before.
The only upcoming MCU movies with characters we haven't seen before, then, are Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Fantastic Four. As great as Shang-Chi is, we don't think that Spellman would refer to him as someone to make audiences cry; nor does he seem like the sort of superhero who would cross paths with Sam and Bucky.
All of this, in our opinion, points towards a potential Fantastic Four cameo. There were already rumors of Mr. Fantastic's appearance in WandaVision a couple of months ago, so could it be that some leakers got their wires crossed and he will, in fact, show up in this series instead? Again, speculation has linked John Krasinski with portraying Mr. Fantastic, and he's a big enough actor to be this "well-known performer" that Spellman alludes to.
Of course, the cameo could be someone who hasn't been announced as a cast member for any of these movies yet. Marvel is notorious for keeping its cards close to its chest, so this revelation may have been kept under wraps for many months. It would be even more thrilling to see someone who hasn't been rumored to feature in an upcoming MCU movie, but we'd be very happy with someone like Mr. Fantastic either way.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 will air exclusively on Disney Plus on Friday, April 16.
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
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