Marvel’s ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Is Kind of ‘Captain America 4’

So far, nothing in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone according to plan. Still, Marvel Studios’ first Disney+ series WandaVision seems to have arrived right on time. Now all eyes turn to its follow-up, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This Marvel Disney+ series is very much a continuation of the Captain America movie trilogy. Here’s how.

How many episodes will ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ have?

Just as WandaVision fans had to tune in week after week, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will release a new episode each week. But unlike the first Marvel Disney+ show, fans expect each installment to run closer to hour-long running times. Based on what fans know so far, it’s likely The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will feature six episodes released through late April.  

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige recently told the Television Critics Association (via Deadline) each MCU Disney+ show would be roughly six hours long. In WandaVision’s case, this cumulative runtime stretched across nine shorter episodes, an approach that fit the show’s mystery-laden tribute to sitcom history. But The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s political thriller tone needs a different take.

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ continues the ‘Captain America’ arc

Truly, everything Marvel has revealed about the show makes it feel like a true continuation of the Captain America trilogy. Of course, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) spent the final moments of Avengers: Endgame giving Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) his own shield. And with Rogers presumably gone, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier sees his two best friends form their own bond.

Sam and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) are pivotal characters in Evans’ Captain America trilogy. And each participated in the epic battles against Thanos (Josh Brolin). Now with that cosmic baddie neutralized, their focus returns to the political intrigue and espionage-style adventure of Cap’s solo movies. In particular, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier neatly builds on Cap’s sequels.

After all, the show marks the return of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter. The character debuted in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the same film that introduced Sam. And the Big Bad of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is none other than Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl). The villain emerged in Captain America: Civil War, leaving the Disney+ show literally picking up his story from there.

Will there be a ‘Captain America 4’?

WandaVision kept the mystical side of the MCU alive until the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. Likewise, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier prioritizes the political commentary of the Captain America movies. Black Panther is the only other MCU franchise entrenched in a more grounded global scale. With that sequel on the way, will fans get Captain America 4?

Marvel remains predictably cagey about the future of the Captain America mantle. Unsubstantiated rumors aside, there’s no clear indication of what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will lead to. But it’s fair to assume Evans won’t be in the lead. Most likely, Captain America 4 — if it happens — would star Mackie. The Disney+ show could even provide the perfect lead-in.

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