Monday, January 17, 2022

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Writer Malcolm Spellman On Sam & Bucky’s Journey


*The next arrival on the slate from Disney+ and Marvel is “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” The series brings back Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier.

If you remember, in the final moments of “Avengers: Endgame,” we saw the two connect. The duo is teaming up for a new global adventure that will test their abilities- and their patience…

Head writer Malcolm Spellman (“Empire,” “Truth Be Told,”) talked with EURweb correspondent Jill Munroe about how he ended up on the Disney+ project, what we can expect to see over the six episodes, and why being a Black man in America is a key part of Sam’s story-line.

Jill: How did you get involved with the series?

Malcolm: I chased it, to be honest. You try and pick your shots with Marvel because they’re going to remember you anytime you come in. About 10 years early I pitched a character – “Deathlok” – who is a great character they have…didn’t get that one. So I waited, then I heard about this, knowing what the journey was going to be for Sam Wilson, I fought to get it. I cut a lot of people.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ (2021) Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan
(Disney+|Marvel)

Jill: Let’s talk about Sam’s journey. In your pitch, you said, ‘you wanted to explore, not just Sam as a Black man in America, but also, a Black man stepping into the role of Captain America.’ What was your inspiration and how did you craft the story around that aspect?

Malcolm: To me it was just a huge opportunity to deal with the idea of creating these Black icons the whole world could look up to, not just Black folks. His journey is unique, he’s not T’Challa, he’s not African. He’s Black, African-American. The stars and stripes is a screaming signal for anybody Black. I just knew, if they let me get a shot to tap into what that ambivalence would feel like, it would create an awesome character. I was super vocal about that when I first came. The executive that guided me through this process – Nate Morrison – a Black man, our writers’ room, almost all Black, it just felt extremely relevant to me.

Jill: What’s the trajectory of Bucky’s character over these six episodes?

Malcolm: He was positioned perfectly because the fans know enough about him to know he’s obviously a tortured person. But, he’s never had a minute to breathe. It’s been one fight after the next fight for 90 years. He’s 106 years old. We knew when Bucky showed up to this project – if you start to think of these as real people – we know that everything is about to slow down a bit. He’s going to have to confront himself in a way he never has before. We thought about all the people he must have killed when he was working for Hydra and they were messing with his head. Plus all the stuff he dealt with as The Winter Soldier, we picked a story for him that embodied all that, and forced him to confront it, fail or not. And Sebastian being the level of actor he is, you can see what he can do with no dialogue, imagine creating characters that embody the worst things he’s ever done. And now they are confronting him. It was an intense journey. We scoped it out for him based on what the fans have already seen, and now he’s got to confront it.

The series is directed by Kari Skogland and also stars Daniel Brühl as Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Wyatt Russell as John Walker. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” drops on Disney+ March 19.

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