Falcon and the Winter Solider's star didn't want to make a TV show – here's why

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's release on Disney Plus is only a week away, and fans are eager to catch up with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes after Avengers: Endgame's events. While viewer excitement is palpable ahead of its release, one of the show's leads has revealed that he was taken aback by Marvel Studios' plans to make a TV show instead of a movie.

In an interview with The New York Times, Anthony Mackie admitted that he was initially hesitant about the studio pursuing a Disney Plus series over a film production.

“I’m walking in with the assumption that the next ‘Captain America’ movie is going to be me,” he said. “I sit there like they’re about to tell me the best news I could ever get. Then they’re like, ‘We’re going to do a TV show'. I was taken aback, mostly because I didn’t want to tarnish the Marvel moniker.”

In contrast to Mackie, Sebastian Stan (Bucky aka the Winter Soldier) revealed that the idea of exploring the pair's characters in more detail seemed like a good opportunity. Rather than examine the duo during a two-hour movie, Falcon and the Winter Soldier will dive into Sam and Bucky's backstories, psyche, and their place in a post-Endgame world across six one-hour episodes.

“It was straightforward and sort of ambiguous at the same time,” Stan explained. “I was like, yeah, that sounds awesome – that also sounds like it could be a million different things.”

Where are Sam and Bucky at the start of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

According to the series' official production notes, Sam and Bucky are struggling to adapt to life after Endgame's events. As you'll remember, the pair were snapped out of existence by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War alongside half of all life in the universe. The duo returned when the Avengers reunited the Infinity Stones after Endgame's time travel heist, but they've reappeared in a radically different world.

With Captain America now too old to effectively carry out his duties, Sam is the new custodian of his friend's iconic shield. As Mackie reveals in the production notes, Sam is struggling with the notion of following in Cap's footsteps.

"Sam considers the shield a representation of the country that we live in,"  Mackie said. "There's a lot of trepidation as far as how does a Black man represent a country that does not represent him? You can't be the same person in every room you walk in because every person you meet expects a different person. For somebody like Sam, he has to ask himself the question if that's something he’s willing to deal with."

For Bucky, Stan says fans can expect the hero-turned-villain-turned-hero to go on another journey of self-discovery – albeit one that starts with his character feeling alienated once more.

"He is trying to embrace his new life – but he’s pretty lost and having an identity crisis again," Stan said. "He's doing his best, finding his own path after Steve, after all those events. It feels like this is the first time he's finally free, so to speak, to look after himself. But it's not easy. How does this character now function in the world? What's his life going back to Brooklyn? How is he meeting people? Is he in therapy? There were all these questions about where we could take this character."

Falcon and the Winter Soldier launches exclusively on Disney Plus on March 19.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

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.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.