Going into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was very well known how big of a deal WandaVision was going forward. The impact that the series would have on that world was teased to be monumental. Even since it was first announced, the world knew the show would lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness .
While things certainly turned out a little different from expected with no Doctor Strange in sight , the set-up for the multiverse had begun. The multiverse is a thread that not only promises to be a key part of the Doctor Strange sequel but also Spider-Man: No Way Home —not to mention the potential to have rippling effects through entire future phases . The story being told in WandaVision may have been an intimately personal one at its core , but its place in the MCU is much grander.
So, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier airing this Friday, should audiences be expecting a similar impact?
A GROUNDED TALE IN THE MCU
In an interview with Inverse , the director of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , Kari Skogland, talked about how the series is more self-contained than other upcoming Marvel projects and why she didn't have to work with other Marvel directors, as WandaVision director Matt Shakman worked with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi.
Skogland reinforced the promise that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be "very grounded and very authentic:"
“ WandaVision was so different that I can see why Matt would be quite specific in reaching out to other directors... I didn’t do that on purpose because this series is very grounded and very authentic and very character-driven...That meant the show was always going to have its own unique signature, and that’s really what I was going for while making it.”
SELF-CONTAINED, BUT NO LESS IMPORTANT
It’s not all that much of a surprise that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier won’t make as big a dent in the overall MCU narrative in the same way WandaVision did. While not much is known about the story of the show, it was never hyped up in the same way that Wanda’s happy life with Vision was. It was simply sold as a down-to-earth show meant to explore the characters and dynamics of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes.
Be sure not to confuse these sentiments with the show not being important, though. That’s likely to be far from the truth. After all, the show is setting up the new Captain America. While it’s all but confirmed that Sam Wilson will eventually take the role despite his hesitancy, it would seem getting to that decision will be a good chunk of his narrative arc. Not to mention the weight of Steve Roger’s legacy will be key to taking that deep dive into these characters that fans have truly only seen small bits of.
This does beg the question: what effect will this have on the overall narrative of the MCU? Well, there’s the obvious event of getting a new Captain America, followed by the not-so-obvious question of where he may pop up again down the line. On top of that, there have been plenty of rumors over the last year or two regarding the introduction of The Thunderbolts. With both Bucky Barnes and Zemo playing key roles, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that group’s set-up may be just around the corner.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will start streaming exclusively on Disney+ on March 19, 2021.