The title alone is enough to let us know that the upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is gearing up to show us familiar characters in a new light. Set in the wake of Avengers: Endgame, the series will follow the two titles characters (Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan) as they work to grow beyond the shadow of Steve Rogers and face threats both new and old, including the return of characters like Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). Now, one of the series' writers is teasing that we can expect to see even more familiar faces from the early days of the MCU, with perhaps a bit of a new twist.
Writer Derek Kolstad was on a recent episode of the Script Apart podcast, and while the interview was largely devoted to his time with the John Wick franchise, host Al Horner did take some time to ask about the upcoming Disney+ superhero show which Kolstad has helped script. Though he noted that he couldn't say much at all about the series, Kolstad did offer this intriguing perspective:
“Here’s what I’ll say: growing up, everyone would give someone like Robin sh*t, but Robin’s pretty badass, and he became pretty badass in the comics," Kolstad said. "You're taking secondary characters and putting them in the primary roles, and they’re cooler. They’re more interesting. There’s more humanity, there's more longing, more suffering, more coming to grips with who and what they are. That's cool. What I will say is that there are characters from the earliest of the Marvel movies that are coming back. They're layering them in and reinventing them in such a way that it's gonna kind of shift the storytelling structure, which is f***ing awesome."
Taking characters from the days when the superheroes of the MCU were still finding their footing and placing them in a post-Endgame world in which someone else is carrying Steve Rogers' shield is certainly an interesting storytelling prospect, and we already know that other characters like Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) are also set to come back alongside Zemo and Carter.
What we don't know is exactly which characters Kolstad was referring to with this comment. A lot of Steve and Bucky's original friends are gone at this point, but that certainly doesn't leave out various other MCU figures. Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) is still kicking around as far as we know, as is industrialist Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), both of whom could make very interesting antagonists for the title characters here. Then there's Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), who outlived his best friend Tony Stark and has become a kind of steward of Tony's legacy in stories like Spider-Man: Far From Home. He's not necessarily a Captain America-centric character, but Favreau does have a very close relationship with the folks at Disney+, so we'll see.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set to premiere next year on Disney+.