After the resounding success of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is poised to continue the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Kari Skogland, the series will explore the dynamic of Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes while also addressing the global effects of The Blip along the way.
Aside from Sam and Bucky, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will also include returning MCU characters such as Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter and the villainous Zemo played by Daniel Brühl. The inclusion of the aforementioned characters has been heavily teased by the show's wave of trailers and promotional posters, but exact details of their role in the series are still being kept under wraps.
Now, a new interview with one of the show's leads may shed some light on the matter.
DANIEL BRÜHL OPENS UP ABOUT ZEMO'S MCU HISTORY
Zemo star Daniel Brühl recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly to promote The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and one of the topics that was discussed is the villain's backstory in the MCU.
To recap, the last time fans saw Zemo was inside a prison cell during 2016's Captain America: Civil War, but it looks like the villain didn't waste time inside the compound. Brühl shared that Zemo had “a lot of time” to read and think, teasing that the character is still “up to no good” during the series:
“He's had a lot of time in that prison cell to read a lot, to think a lot. So, you can be sure that he's up to no good.”
Malcolm Spellman, the showrunner of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, also chimed in by saying that the six-episode run of the series presents a rare opportunity for the villain “to feel the way a person would feel if someone had destroyed his country and his family:”
“Think about what Zemo's been through and what motivates him. Now imagine you have six episodes to dig and allow him to feel the way a person would feel if someone had destroyed his country and his family.”
Brühl then shared an interesting story of the first time he laid eyes on Zemo's signature mask. It was revealed that Spellman flew all the way from Canada, alongside a mysterious suitcase, to visit the actor while he was shooting Season 2 of The Alienist back in 2019.
Inside the actor's apartment, Spellman opened the suitcase to unveil Zemo's mask from the comic books. Brühl admitted that it was a "very special, exciting moment" for him ahead of his portrayal in the Marvel series:
“That was a very special, exciting moment for me. We would see Zemo now finally in that iconic outfit.”
Admittedly, Brühl can't do a deep dive into Zemo's next master plan just yet, but Spellman did hint that the villain's line in the trailer about superheroes not being allowed to exist is “not a fleeting line.”
Brühl added by saying that Zemo is “strictly against super-soldiers,” and this sentiment is “something that bothers” the villain a lot in the series:
“It is true that Zemo in the past, and possibly also in the present, is strictly against super-soldiers, because he has seen the danger that this can cause. That is why he has lost his whole family in the Sokovian war. This is something that bothers Zemo and makes him think a lot.”
Lastly, the actor pointed out that the inclusion of Zemo's mask changed his performance in the show, hinting towards the character's “aristocratic background,” while also admitting that he “felt like [he's] a baron.”
ZEMO WILL BE FLESHED OUT IN THE MCU SERIES
Based on the comments from Brühl and Spellman, fans should expect a deep dive not just on the villain's story but also on the character's inner motivations. Many would agree that Zemo is an interesting MCU villain, and his return in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will definitely be a must-see for fans.
Not much is known if Zemo was a victim of Thanos' Snap, but Brühl's tease that the villain had a lot of time inside the prison cell could hint that the character survived, and he somehow escaped during the chaos.
On the flip side, Zemo's continued blame towards super-powered individuals could have a different meaning entirely, and it could suggest that he was blipped out of existence. If anything, this could add more fuel to the villain's hate against the Avengers.
The highly-talked-about debut of Zemo's purple mask from the comics is one of the main topics of discussion among fans, and it's good to know that Brühl shares similar excitement about the matter. It's possible that the actor's tease that the purple mask changed his performance could mean that the villain will be involved in more action scenes in the series.
In a way, this is an exciting development, especially considering that Zemo was only included for a brief action sequence from Civil War. That said, it looks like Zemo will be part of more thrilling scenes in the series.
It's no secret that Zemo's plan in Civil War changed the landscape of the MCU, and it will be interesting to find out the villain's next move that could spell trouble for the remaining heroes of the franchise.