The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is already two episodes into its six-part run, and the latest installment was filled with a lot more to digest than the premiere. Wyatt Russel's John Walker took up the Captain America mantle, Isaiah Bradley made his MCU debut as a former super-soldier, and Bucky was arrested by two seemingly racist police officers.
DIsney+'s latest blockbuster packed a lot more action into its 50-minute run time than the first as the titular duo took on the super-strong Flag Smashers with some help from John Walker and his sidekick Hoskins. Naturally, Marvel is no stranger to chaotic set pieces like these, but while fans only typically see the end product, it's always interesting to see the process involved in producing such a moment.
It would come as a surprise to many fans that it isn't often the leading stars in the suit during these set pieces, as the A-list celebrities are instead replaced by stunt doubles to perform the potentially risky stunts. In a recent Instagram post, one of these stunt doubles has showcased a look behind the scenes of the truck fight sequence of the latest episode.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF A MARVEL STUDIOS STUNT TEAM
Instagram posts from stuntman Lloyd Pitts have revealed behind-the-scenes images of his brief time in John Walker's Captain America suit as he filled in for Wyatt Russel's stunt double during the second unit pickup shots for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Within the film industry, the second unit is a separate production team that works separately from the principal photography, usually filming relatively minor shots that don't require the main cast.
Pitts describes in his first post — alongside an image of himself in the iconic suit, — that while he only took up the shield for “one very full day,” it was a great “honor.” The stuntman went on to share his admiration for Justin Eaton, the “true Captain America stunt double of the show,” who offered Pitts “guidance and coaching” in his preparation for the shoot:
“For one very full day, I was given the opportunity, privilege, and honor of holding the shield during some second unit pickup shots. I will never be able to stress enough how much respect and admiration I have for the true Captain America stunt double of the show @jeaton_ [Justin Eaton], without your guidance and coaching I would have been fed to the wolves for sure. To both you and @davemacomber [Dave Macomber], thank you gentlemen for your generosity, patience, and trust. I’ve hoped every day since then that I didn’t let you guys down.”
While he only took up the mantle for one day, it was for a relatively significant sequence as the second unit gathered footage for the truck fight scene in the latest episode which saw Falcon, Winter Soldier, US Agent, and Battlestar take on the Flag smashers aboard a moving truck.
John Walker's role in the scene came to an end as he was thrown from the back of the truck, a stunt Pitts has shared an image of himself performing. He described the moment as something “so cool, I [he] could fall on my [his] sword and retire over.”
The final result of the stunt, shown in the episode, saw John Walker's Captain America thrown from the back of the truck by a super-soldier, as the whole team of heroes was defeated by the Flag Smashers.
In a third post, Lloyd went on to share an image of himself alongside Anthony Mackie's stunt double Aaron Toney who has also doubled for Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan in the past. Before beginning the shot, Toney told Pitts that “you think you wanna be in a suit until you gotta take that wreck!” The John Walker stand-in commented on this advice on Instagram he “wasn't wrong,” before going on to share his “friend, mentor, and older brother in the business”:
“The man wasn’t wrong...Thankful for a friend, mentor, and what I kindly call an older brother in the business that never holds back his opinion, or his truest self. In a system flooded with fakes, you’re the real deal, and I appreciate you.”
On a separate note, Sebastian Stan's stunt double John Nania revealed footage of a safety test the team conducted, in preparing to shoot the truck-top action sequence/
A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF HOLLYWOOD
It can be insane to think that these minute-long action spectacles often take weeks of preparation, shooting, and editing to bring to life on-screen. Typically, the spotlight is kept on the lead actors like Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, however, a lot of the most memorable moments from these characters often don't even have them in the suit.
Overall, thousands of work hours go into producing these under-one-hour episodes, but the insane popularity of these projects continues to yield extreme profits. With so many of these shots found in the two-hour theatrical releases, it's easy to imagine how a film like Avengers: Endgame managed to rack-up a $356 million budget, returning a profit of over $2 billion.
With four episodes still to go, there's plenty more star-spangled action to come from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This Friday's episode will see the return of Captain America: Civil War villain Zemo, within the series' longest episode yet.