The Falcon and the Winter Soldier writer, Malcolm Spellman, on Thanos’ actions affecting the story

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres this week on Disney+, and it follows Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The two Marvel heroes had moments together in Captain America: Civil War that became fan-favorite scenes, and their lives have been changed thanks to Steve Rogers. During the press conference, head writer Malcolm Spellman talks about what fans can expect to see in the series, the different tones and influences from 48 Hrs., Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys.

“There was about a 12-second moment in Civil War where it feels like every single Marvel fan, Kevin Feige, and all his cabal partners knew that these two guys were gonna be able to support a movie or a franchise,” Spellman said. “And in doing the interviews, I feel like you can’t really take credit for the tone because, in that 12 seconds, everybody knew what it was gonna be. And that’s just sort of a transcendent thing.”

The series tackles the contrasting lives of Sam and Bucky including their past, present and future. With the two together, the show offers different pathways to explore, which Spellman discusses.

“The buddy-two-hander genre, what we loved about them is the range tonally,” he said. “You can go from as gritty as 48 Hrs. to as comedic as Rush Hour, but in between, there is sort of that first Lethal Weapon and that first Bad Boys. And what we liked about it was it allows Sebastian and Anthony to do what they do and create that magic. If you need to take on real issues or if you need to get into something very Marvel-y, it’s a very, very durable form of storytelling.”

Like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier deals with the events after the last two Avengers movies.

“I think what worked out really nicely was where Endgame leaves off,” Spellman said. “Thanos has created a situation where the entire world is dealing with one single issue, which is very familiar to what’s going on today, and everything is born from that. The villains in this series are responding to that. And in fact, every villain in the series would tell you he or she is a hero. The heroes are responding to that in their personal lives. You know what I’m saying? And that as story plot, it’s all born from one single, organic thing, and this continuum from what happens after Endgame. That sort of galvanizes and affects everybody on the planet at the same time and creates a nice cohesion and direct lineage to the MCU.”

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier deals with all sorts of themes from PTSD to social-economical problems. Malcolm talks about how these topics came together.

“I think a huge part of that was the process, in that, we didn’t just tackle one episode at a time,” he said during the press conference. “Vertical storytelling is features, right? Features are compressed time and immediate action. They all build towards one event. A series allows horizontal storytelling. And the rhythm of the storytelling is completely different in that characters can befriend each other, fall out, and evolve in a much different way. By focusing on that horizontal story spreading across all those themes you’re talking about and spreading across where these characters’ journeys are going to be before we even know what the individual episodes do, it created that feeling that you’re talking about where there’s almost like this fabric that’s draped over the entire series. That was born from the process.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on March 18th on Disney+.

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John Nguyen
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Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.