The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is two days away from releasing on Disney Plus, and fans are gearing up to join Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes on a new Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure. Ahead of the series' launch, there's been plenty of speculation about where the show fits on the MCU timeline, especially when it was revealed that WandaVision occurs just three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Thankfully, director Kari Skogland has provided an answer to that key query. In an interview with Collider ahead of the series premiere, Skogland confirmed that Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes places six months after the Avengers defeated Thanos and his army in Endgame.
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Explaining why the Disney Plus series is set half a year following Endgame's events, Skogland revealed that it was "absolutely critical" to how the MCU's latest adventure ties into the Blip - the universe-wide genocidal act that Thanos carries out in Avengers: Infinity War.
"Everything narratively was informed by that event for us," she said. "It meant that we're just past the shock of it. We're just past the joy of it - because we're imagining that there would be a lot of joy, in people returning. Now we're into the reality of it, which is complicated."
Expanding on the complexities at play in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Skogland stated that the return of people who were Blipped has led to a multitude of issues, including how certain nations are working closely together in the aftermath of the Blip.
"With half the population Blipped away, you've got different economic circumstances, different border circumstances," she said. "Neighbors are cooperating, who weren't necessarily getting along before. People moved into houses that they didn't own before. Everything changed. Now we're into that moment. We're past the surprise of it and now we're into the realities of it. I think that makes for a very different place in the story, because we can get not only grounded about it, but we can drill into how people respond to that. Some of it's good and some of it's not so good."
How do Sam and Bucky's stories fit into Falcon and the Winter Soldier's exploration of the Blip?
As two of the heroes Blipped out of existence in Infinity War, Sam and Bucky's individual stories are vital blocks to build the series' plot around. Their circumstances may be different in the show, but the Blip - and their friendships with the now aged Captain America - mean that there is a commonality between them.
In Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam is coming to terms with receiving Cap's iconic shield from the man himself. Not only that but, according to the series' production notes, he'll have some family issues to iron out.
Bucky, meanwhile, is described as being "lost" at the start of the series. Freed from Hydra's mind control techniques and fighting wars throughout his life, the ex-Soviet weapon must try to acclimatize to 21st century life while navigating a world without his best friend alongside him.
While the duo are sifting through their personal problems, they'll have to contend with some new and old kids on the block. An anti-national group called the Flag Smashers and the returning Baron Zemo will put Sam and Bucky's fractious friendship to the test, while a new government-backed Captain America-like hero called US Agent won't be well received by the pair.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will launch exclusively on Disney Plus on March 19.
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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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