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What Kevin Feige Demanded From Falcon And The Winter Soldier's Creators

Marvel Television has changed a lot in the last year. Where once there were multiple shows airing and streaming across multiple networks and online services, 2020 saw a kind of reset. The reason why was clear: MCU head honcho Kevin Feige was finally in charge of Marvel's TV lineup, and he wanted to make it align with the rest of the MCU.

WandaVision, the first Disney+ Marvel series, established the precedent. Not only did it directly answer the question of what happened to Vision's (Paul Bettany) body after he was killed in Avengers: Infinity War – while giving us an analysis of grief through the unique power set of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) — but it also gave us Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), while setting up the Phase IV MCU film Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness.

Whereas WandaVision, with its explicit conceit of taking place within the confines of the American sitcom, leaned into the fact that it was designed for television, the next Disney+ series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, is taking the exact opposite approach.

Matching the depth of TV with the urgency of film

In an interview with CinemaBlend, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier head writer and executive producer Malcolm Spelling made it clear that he was given a very specific instruction by Kevin Feige himself.

"The mandate when I came in was this cannot look like television and it cannot feel like television," said Spelling. And while that may seem obviously true from the trailers we've seen so far, there's more to the movie mandate than just special effects. "When Kevin said that, he didn't just mean the action, he meant also in the storytelling," Spelling continued. "So we tried to find a way to do a hybrid form of storytelling that has the immediacy and urgency of a movie for each episode but is exploiting the real estate that six episodes give us which is a completely different rhythm and cadence of storytelling to go deep into these characters."

It makes sense that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier would look and feel more like a movie. If WandaVision is all about exploring the emotional impact of Vision's death and the Thanos Snap, then this latest series is, in contrast, partly about how Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) continue the fight that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) left behind at the end of Avengers: Endgame – and that is, by its very nature, a much bigger and more action-filled endeavor.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ March 19, 2021.