Why The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Will Only Be Six Episodes

Published on March 8, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the next Marvel television series slated to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus. The series will shine a spotlight on Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), the new Captain America, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan.) Barnes was the best friend of the first MCU Captain America (Chris Evans), whose civilian name was Steve Rogers.

With the first MCU Disney Plus series WandaVision ending with nine episode and a ton of fan theories, needless to say the anticipation for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is ramping up exponentially. It was Steve after all who decided to pass on Captain America’s shield to Sam, his loyal best friend since Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Avengers: Endgame.

But Why is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Only Six Episodes? WandaVision had Nine!

On your left…(Source: Disney Plus)

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s explanation was as short and sweet as the season episode length itself. Deadline reported Feige’s answer to the six episode question, saying that:

“Anthony Mackie and Sebastien Stan are spectacular actors which we felt we had to explore their stories and their backstories, or personal stories, enough as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. So it was always the thought we’d like to learn more about both of them. In the little interactions they had with each other in Winter Soldier and Civil War … as friends of a mutual best friend in Captain America. We thought we’d have a fun dynamic, if we ever had that opportunity, we’d watch a whole show with the two of them and Disney+ gives us that opportunity.”

A noticeable fan feedback trend from WandaVision was that the episodes felt frustratingly short (with a lot of jokes about the Please Stand By end credits.)

With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier only being six episodes long, with a six hour long estimated run-time, that means each episode should be around 50 to 52 minutes long, depending on how long the end credits are.

But what villain will these two have to face? (Source: Disney Plus)

With the episode length confirmed, other questions remain. Where are Sam and Bucky in the MCU timeline during the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? The teaser trailer did include a shot of Sam in a black tuxedo while a large photo of Chris Evan’s Captain America loomed behind him, which led many fans to speculate that Sam was at Steve Roger’s funeral (or he could just be feeling the weight of the Captain America title, which is also plausible.)

Check out the full teaser trailer below.

There’s a lot of great teasers, most prominently the return of the evil Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp.) Zemo was the main villain of Captain America: Civil War whose primary goal was to tear the Avengers apart after his family was killed during the Battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

“Superheroes cannot be allowed to exist.” Zemo’s motivation doesn’t seem to have changed much since Civil War. It would make sense that Zemo would try to capitalize on destroying the Avengers after the events of Endgame, with many of the team either dead, retired, or living a fantasy life in Westview, New Jersey.

Contrast Zemo’s declaration with a figure in the above video saying, “Our country is vulnerable! We need new heroes.” It seems to be a pretty straightforward conflict that Marvel is setting up, with the relationship between Steve Roger’s best friends at the forefront. (Their therapy session in the first session is hilarious.”

What made WandaVision so compelling was how it was a character study on an Avenger in the previous movies that didn’t get a lot of screen time. Based on what Feige said in his statement, hopefully fans will get that same great character development for Sam and Bucky (beyond his time as a brainwashed Hydra soldier) and further develop their friendship past being coworkers.

Marvel always does an excellent job of connecting all of their movies together, so it’ll be really interesting to see how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ties into upcoming movies slated to premiere this year like Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, The Eternals and MCU movies next year like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

What are you most excited to see from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? The series premieres March 19th, on Disney Plus.

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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