Last year, the coronavirus hit Hollywood productions hard, especially for Marvel Studios projects like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which was forced to stop in March.
In a recent interview, writer Malcolm Spellman confirmed that there was indeed a “lost” storyline, but that it had nothing to do with the pandemic. The show's director further debunked this rumor by revealing that after returning from the shutdown, production added material instead of subtracting it.
EXPANDING, NOT SUBTRACTING, AFTER SHUTDOWN
Director Kari Skogland spoke with Collider to dismiss rumors of a removed pandemic subplot in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, responding when asked, “No. Yeah, you can debunk that.”
However, Skogland confirmed that there weren't any dramatic story changes after production was shut down and that only “small character tweaks” were made:
“No. We started shooting in October of 2019 and we had shot about 75 percent [before production shut down]. So we really knew the story we were telling for sure. So when we shut down, we only had about 25 percent left to shoot. So I think the only story changes we made were small character tweaks.”
When filming started again, Skogland and production decided to take the opportunity to expand on characters like Karli. She spoke on how how she “wanted to feel them and their history just a little bit” to understand their respective histories:
“We had discovered that we really wanted to know Karli a bit more. So I think we added a scene between her and Dovich, where they got to just talk about what it was like to take the serum. I wanted to feel them and their history just a little bit and get a bit more inside how they were thinking and feeling in that moment.”
Skogland reiterated that it was “small things like that” which were altered from the original plan before production was shut down:
“So it was small things like that where we were able to kind of sharpen our pencil. But in terms of the big themes that we were already talking about, we were absolutely just on the same track.”
It is uncertain which scene between Lamar and John Walker director Skogland is talking about, but they had apparently “added or tweaked” it to get a better sense of Walker and what he was thinking:
“I think also we might've added or tweaked the scene with Lamar and John Walker, because we had discovered through the process of it all that we really wanted to know... we wanted to dig into what John Walker was thinking. And I think we had it a slightly different way.”
Over the course of shooting, production became more familiar with John Walker as a character, a man who was “trying to do the right thing, but didn't have the right tools, the right DNA of him as a soul,” but still trying to do the right thing:
“And so we tweaked that scene to reflect what we had discovered through the process of shooting John Walker and who he was and how much he, in many ways, was just an earnest guy trying to do the right thing, but didn't have the right tools, the right DNA of him as a soul. We wanted to deepen that conversation with him and Lamar, so we went inside that a little bit. These are the small tweaks we did — it was all character-based and that was it.”
JOHN WALKER'S DOUBT
Skogland did not directly state which scene between Lamar and John Walker was expanded, but she was likely referring to the one in “The Whole World Is Watching.” Walker confides in Lamar about the things they did as soldiers in Afghanistan, even being awarded medals for it. Nearing the end of that conversation, Lamar makes mention of the Super Soldier Serum, saying "imagine how many lives we could've saved if we had that serum."
That conversation between the two helped bring greater understanding to both characters, especially Walker. The debate of what makes a good man and a good soldier, which Walker believed himself to be of the latter, doubted the former.
Walker asking Lamar about whether he would take the super-soldier serum only results in bolstering his resolve. Unfortunately, a resolve that resulted in Walker succumbing to his lesser instincts for the whole world to see.
Assembled: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently scheduled to release on Disney+ this Friday.