New information just confirmed details about a controversial subplot that was removed from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
While Anthony Mackie's big debut as Captain America was praised at first, by the end of the first season, that goodwill had dissipated. The finale, in particular, left many with a foul taste in their mouth, with some feeling the story was rushed and character development thrown out the door.
Lots of fans got it in their heads that the quality was decreased thanks to last-minute decisions made due to the impact of COVID-19.
Rumors suggested that there was once a storyline in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - which started filming in the Fall of 2019 before pausing production in March 2020 due to the pandemic - that followed the spread of a contagious disease, but it was cut due to the worldwide pandemic. While it’s been confirmed something was removed, the details about it were never confirmed.
One Less Controversial Subplot for Captain America
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, written by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, is now available worldwide, and it revealed details of a controversial subplot removed from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The book confirmed there was once a storyline that saw “the heroes rushing to stop a fast-spreading disease.”
Here’s the full passage in the book, going over how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the show:
“‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ had already canceled location work in Puerto Rico after a devastating earthquake in January 2020. The pandemic not only forced the show to abort a shoot in Prague but made a planned plotline about the heroes rushing to stop a fast-spreading disease feel a bit too close to reality. (Spellman acknowledged that the series had removed the side story, although he said that it wasn’t because of the coronavirus.)
Previously, while guesting on the Fade to Black podcast, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Malcolm Spellman acknowledged there was a lost subplot but claimed that “it had nothing to do with the pandemic:”
"I've been told to stop saying that [referring to the "lost" storyline]. I loved it, and it had nothing to do with the pandemic… I want to see if we can get some of the writers to do a book run on it because I think Kevin [Feige] does it. I've been told to stop talking about it."
Was Removing the Pandemic a Good Idea for the Disney+ Series?
It makes sense that there was once the threat of a pandemic for Sam Wilson’s big adventure.
After all, the Disney+ show’s production company label was Pandemic Productions LLC. The Pandemic caused a litany of other changes for the series (like canceling various location work), so it’s not hard to see COVID-19 affecting the show.
Many consider making massive reactionary changes based on fleeting world events and conditions a tad silly. But, it’s easy to see how Disney and Marvel Studios would not want one of their first streaming series to be about the worldwide pandemic, which was a heavy weight on the world at the time.
Like Malcolm Spellman previously mentioned, it would be neat if Marvel Studios did find a way to bring the lost storyline to life via a short comic run or something similar. Many theorized that the deleted plot would have seen the heroes trying to stop the Mad Bomb, which would have infected people and turned them into rage zombies.
Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson will next wield the shield in Captain America: Brave New World, which is currently scheduled to release on July 26, 2024. Joining him will be Harrison Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross, who, if rumor is to be believed, will finally be transforming into the Red Hulk.