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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Director Dishes On John Walker's Iconic Shield Scene - Exclusive

Contains spoilers for "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"

The MCU has been through a lot of Captain Americas recently.

Weeks have gone by since the chilling image of John Walker (Wyatt Russell) holding Cap's bloody shield (dis)graced our screens, and the striking tableau still haunts "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" fans. Throughout the mini-series, fans watched John Walker go from arrogant-yet-well-meaning soldier thrust into a PR version of Cap to a vindictive murderer and then back to a shady-yet-well-intentioned soldier now cut off from the government. It's a pretty jarring bit of character whiplash, and it doesn't end well for Walker.

No matter what John does in the future, his reputation is permanently tarnished by the blood he let stain Cap's shield, both literally and figuratively. Of course, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" marked both the beginning and the end of John's tenure as a warped Captain America, prompting the shield's rightful owner, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), to take his place as the true Cap of the future.

In an exclusive interview, Looper spoke to director Kari Skogland about the game-changing series. She walked us through the creative process behind John Walker's horrifying bloody shield scene.

Sometimes less is more, according to Skogland

We asked Skogland what the conversation surrounding John Walker's bloody scene looked like, and how she and the crew got to that final captivating shot. 

"Well, we always wanted it to be gruesome. I think obviously we are in the PG-13 space, so a bit of less-is-more, but I wanted it all to be imagined because, in the imagination of it, you fill in the blanks, and that can be whatever level of horror you want it to be — but it will be horrible," she explained. "I also wanted it to be experiential so that it was a bit more of a ballet in that once we see John losing his mind, we kind of go into his space, which is why the super-slow motion and the quick cuts and the slightly out-of-body experience." 

Skogland most certainly accomplished that mission, judging by the reactions from the fans. She added, "Because I wanted us to really feel the way he was feeling, which was without any control. Then as he sort of wakes up from that red light moment, he realizes what he's done, and we realize what he's done, and so then the iconic moment of that sort of hero angle with the shield close to us, but now stained."

Fans can rewatch John Walker's brutal beginnings and catch up with the new new Cap on "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." Every episode is currently streaming on Disney+.