Marvel Studios is only a few days away from bringing its second Phase 4 property with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, exclusively coming to Disney+. The show will be a direct continuation from the end of the Infinity Saga as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes do their best to continue the Captain America story, honoring their friend, Steve Rogers.
As was the case with WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier will have its fair share of references back to events and entities in the franchise’s past while progressing with the story. While the Infinity Saga’s individual characters are front and center with this endeavor, anything from the MCU’s first 23 films is fair game to utilize for future entries in Phase 4 and beyond.
According to new quotes from Marvel Studios’ fearless leader, fans shouldn’t brush aside these past entities just because the MCU is going into a new era...
SHIELD AND HYDRA IN PLAY FOR MCU RETURNS
During the virtual global press conference for Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige was asked if MCU organizations like SHIELD and Hydra were in play for a comeback in Phase 4 and beyond.
Feige confirmed that Marvel Comics serve as the inspiration for this, considering that these organizations “come and go in various forms over the years.” He also mentioned that there is “always an inherent need” for these kinds of groups, leaving the door open for SHIELD and Hydra to return down the line.:
"Well, again, you can always look at the comics, right? We always take our lead from what has happened before. Those organizations come and go in various forms over the years. So, they always could [reappear]. And there are new organizations like SWORD that you saw in WandaVision. So there's always an inherent need for certain above-board or shadowy organizations of some kind in the MCU."
DON'T COUNT OUT SHADOWY SPY GROUPS
The MCU's interpretation of SHIELD has existed since the franchise's earliest days, with 2008's Iron Man featuring Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson of SHIELD and closed with a post-credits scene including Director Nick Fury. Hydra didn't come into play until three years later in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, with Hugo Weaving's Red Skull leading the Nazi deep-science division in the battles of World War II.
The two opposing forces played key roles in the MCU's first two phases, with their battle coming to a head in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Hydra revealed their infiltration of SHIELD. After Cap took down the last of Hydra in Captain America: Civil War, the organizations took more of a back seat to the Avenger-centric action in Phase 3.
Kevin Feige has always looked to take inspiration for the MCU directly from the comics, even though the movies and Disney+ series aren't a direct replica of what happens on the comic book page. He did tease the way comics see these groups come and go in various forms over the years, which could very well translate into the MCU as well.
Currently, the mysterious organization featured most in Phase 4 is SWORD, which first came into play in the early stages of WandaVision. However, with projects like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow featured in this upcoming slate, fans shouldn't count SHIELD or Hydra out as they continue to lurk in the MCU's shadows.
For now, MCU fans look forward to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which premieres on Disney+ on Friday, March 19.