With Marvel's first project in over a year, the studio turned heads with its first Disney+ show, WandaVision . It garnered a lot of attention. Some of it was mixed , but a good chunk of it was high praise, especially for the unique approach Marvel took with telling the story. It's that strangeness that really made it stick out, and it's also that same aspect that fueled how fans interacted with the show.
The entire show was a mystery. It required the viewer to consistently be asking questions and always trying to think about what may be coming up next. Who did this, why is that happening, is it really so-and-so? It's this approach that led to countless fan theories, the biggest among them being things like Mephisto being the Westview puppet master or the Infinity Stones playing a role in everything occurring.
Nothing was obvious, and audiences certainly didn't have an abundance of information on their ride through Wanda's grief. With WandaVision now complete, how similar of an experience will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier be when it airs this Friday? Well, the showrunner himself has the answer.
HOW WILL SAM'S JOURNEY DIFFER FROM WANDA'S?
In a discussion with Polygon , The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner and series creator Malcolm Spellman talked about how he hopes fans will engage with this show and how they may differ from WandaVision . Spellman mentioned that the star-spangled series is "much more cards-up:"
"These projects are all born from fandom, and you hope they’re gonna go on the ride with you. I think this one (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) — the way the storytelling enters in this one is not like WandaVision . That series was a mystery, with the fans trying to fill in the blanks. This story is much more cards-up. And it’s super-emotional on its face in a way that’s obvious. Even the plot is much more open. So there may not be intense speculation coming from the fans on this one."
Elaborating more, Spellman went on to talk about what he wanted the audience to get from their experience watching the show, such as him wanting the fans to "appreciate Sam not taking up the mantle:"
"I just want them to appreciate Sam not taking up the mantle, because that gets to his whole journey. All they got to do is ask “Why?” The ones who know won’t ask, and it’s going to be compelling to them. And the ones who don’t get it, well, they get to go on this ride with this man, and see how come he was ambivalent."
A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE
While it may have already been easy to guess from the marketing materials for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , the experience the show seems to provide is going to be vastly different from that of WandaVision . The set-up and structure (particularly that of the first half) of that show was completely original, not only for Marvel Studios but for the television landscape as a whole. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier isn't aiming for that , and that's far from a bad thing.
Instead, this show seems to aim for a more standard MCU approach. Gone is the contextless mystery that WandaVision provided, and in it is the action and drama that fans have come to love and are used to.
Where the show seems to be looking to make its unique mark is in how it mixes that standard MCU affair with addressing issues like race and other systematic issues within society and the government itself.
With how out there WandaVision was, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will provide a nice respite from that zaniness, providing more familiarity to audiences. This is especially true with Loki next on the Disney+ docket, a show that promises to be as zany as WandaVision (if not more so); that change of pace is going to be perfect.
Marvel seems to be well aware of what its shows are offering to audiences and is keeping in mind the best placement for them. This is a very good thing to be doing since its endless list of releases wouldn't last long if it ignored that key element. Keeping it fresh is the key.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on March 19, 2021.