Falcon and Winter Soldier Showrunner Addresses Nixed Story Rumors

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman has been talking about those persistent story rumors.

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes in Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

This article contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finished up on Disney+ last week, leaving viewers with a few lingering questions – and a few key answers – about what Marvel has planned for some of its more grounded MCU projects in the future.

Now, showrunner Malcolm Spellman is in the spotlight for a round of interviews following confirmation that he’ll be developing a fourth Captain America movie for Marvel Studios, with the film likely to continue Sam Wilson’s story.

Spellman went over a number of interesting aspects of the series on the Fade to Black podcast, where interviewer Amon Warmann broached subjects that have been talked about in fan circles for quite a while, including a persistent rumor that a large chunk of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was rewritten to remove a pandemic-related storyline.

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Addressing the cut storyline, Spellman said “I’ve been told to stop saying that. I loved it and it had nothing to do with the pandemic. I want to see if we can get some of the writers to do a [comic] book run on it because I think Kevin [Feige] does it. I’ve been told to stop talking about it.”

Regarding Bucky Barnes’ possible bisexuality – a part of the story some fans had hoped to see in the series but that didn’t transpire – Spellman said that “no one really says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to anything” but that any story they write has to play out organically, and ultimately they have left the character in a position to go on a major journey now that his past trauma has been somewhat resolved.

“I can’t honestly say that I have an opinion,” he said. “But whoever picks up the pen or the keyboard, I’m gonna embrace whatever direction [Bucky] goes in.”

For viewers who wondered why Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) put on his iconic purple mask very briefly in episode 3 of the series only to never wear it again, Spellman responded that, yes, the moment was created specifically for Marvel Comics fans, but that he has no idea where the Zemo story will go beyond The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, describing a sort of ‘need to know’ bubble at Marvel that he apparently isn’t fully part of.

Spellman also confirmed that the series was cut from 8 episodes to 6 to remove some “flab” when they began mapping it out, and described Wyatt Russell’s performance as John Walker as “transcendent”.

“The layers that we thought we added in the writers room [for Walker], he added like four more layers to the character. I wonder if the way he played him may have opened up even more doors for [Walker in the MCU].”

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Touching on Walker’s murder of Flag-Smasher Nico in full view of the public after injecting himself with the super soldier serum, Spellman seemed less sure of whether there could be true accountability for the crime, because that just isn’t the way the US government works. “The government backed him as Cap, so in a weird way even when he had the shield he was US Agent.”

Spellman also effectively dodged a question about whether a possible Chris Evans cameo was ever discussed, saying “there were a lot of people begging… I’ve gotta be careful… I’m not going to answer that” but that “significant things” are going to happen in the MCU before Captain America 4 arrives.