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Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in late March, actor Wyatt Russell admitted that he knew absolutely nothing about Marvel Comics or the MCU when Disney approached him to play John Walker in the The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. "I didn't grow up knowing much about comic books," he said.
"My heroes were athletes, so when I came on set, I was asking, 'Ok, well what does that mean? Who's that person? How do they fit in?' Finally, Sebastian [Stan] was like, 'Dude, stop asking questions, you're gonna get more confused than you are [now].'"
Before taking on the role, however, Russell sought out advice from a true Marvel maven: Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn.
"Once I found out who [the character] was, the first phone call I made was to someone I knew who knew the world. I called James Gunn, who'd I become friendly with," Russell told Gold Derby. "My wife worked with him on a movie [2019's Brightburn] and I trust his opinion. Obviously, he's a great filmmaker and he's in that world. He said, 'If it's the character that I'm thinking of, it's an inherently interesting character because he has a lot of issues that you have to work through.' He knew a little bit about the character, which was more than my nothing."
Wyatt has another connection to Gunn through his legendary father, Kurt Russell, who worked with the filmmaker on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (in which Russell played Star-Lord's father, Ego the Living Planet). When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he got any MCU advice from his dad, Wyatt answered with the following:
"He was just like, 'Make sure you can go to the bathroom. Because everybody's gotta wear a suit that is difficult to go to the bathroom in.' That was legitimately the one piece of advice: make sure you can go to the bathroom and you don't overheat.' That was it."
Some truly wise words from the great Snake Plissken!
All six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now available to stream on Disney+. The same day that the show ended, news broke that head writer Malcolm Spellman had been tapped to co-write a fourth Captain America film (one presumably starring Anthony Mackie in the title role).