Marvel Studios has always thrown plenty of nods to comics and callbacks to previous movies in their films, but since the franchise's Disney+ series have started to roll out fans have taken their sleuthing skills to a whole new level. Now that they have the ability to pause, rewind, and replay new content as soon as it's released, every little detail of each episode is analyzed in search of some deeper meaning to the project as a whole.
Viewers of WandaVision came up with complex theories that surprised even the creators of the show, and some of the things people thought were "Easter eggs" (fun little nods to other projects) turned out to simply be coincidences, to the disappointment of some fans.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier doesn't have as big an element of teasing its audience about what is causing everything to happen the way WandaVision did, but fans have still managed to find a way to latch onto plot points the show's cast and crew may not have expected, such as the widespread social media discussion post-premiere about the Avengers not being paid for their heroics.
AN ACTOR'S POINT OF VIEW
While on The Jess Cagle Show , lead actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan were asked if the reveal about the Avengers' lack of a salary being one of the Marvel fandom's biggest takeaway's from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 's first episode caught them off guard. Mackie said "Nothing about the internet surprises me anymore."
"Not really. Nothing about the internet surprises me anymore. There's stuff that people find interesting, and I just learned what an Easter egg is, so it's a whole bunch of things going on that aren't surprising at all."
Mackie was subsequently asked if he was telling the truth about only learning what Easter eggs were very recently, to which he expressed his lack of care for such references during production:
"We don't go around saying, 'Yo, you saw that 'Easter egg' in Scene 12?' I mean, that's not a conversation you have as an actor."
Stan echoed his co-star's sentiment, explaining that "I think what [Mackie's] trying to say is we try not to think as much about it as you think we do" later adding that "it's a very strange thing, but we are actually not these characters."
IT'S FOR THE FANS
The audience often forgets that actors who play the characters seen onscreen aren't the people writing the show or movie in question. In the case of Marvel Studios, even some of the writers and directors of projects have been blown away with what fans have fixated on and theorized , so it might be even more overwhelming to the actors, who generally focus on bringing their character to life rather than figuring out every other detail of the story being told.
Mackie and Stan seem to be taking it all in stride, though. Both have been part of the MCU for quite a while at this point, and appear to have grown very used to seeing the way fans think and act during that time, even if the whole Easter egg thing is new to them (though so far, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems to be lighter on that kind of stuff compared to WandaVision ).
Episode 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier begins streaming on March 26.