I mean, yes, they’re both in the MCU. But that’s not what he means.
In a new, in depth interview for the Hollywood Reporter, Sebastian Stan, aka Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shares some new details about Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while speaking favourably of its tone and also adding some more thoughts on his understanding of the relationship between Bucky and Steve Rogers.
“In a lot of ways, it felt like a movie,” Stan said of the process of filming the new series, which is slated for release on Disney Plus. “What I loved about it was that, tonally, it was very much in the same world that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, which was one of my favourite experiences that I’ve ever had, period. So, in a sense, it was grounded and very much in the world as we know it. But, it’s also really jam-packed with a lot of massive, massive action scenes mixed with deep focus on character. These characters are getting so much more mileage for all of us to explore them. We can put them in situations that we’ve never been able to put them in before because you now have six hours as opposed to two.”
That tonal sweet spot—a bit paranoid, a bit introspective, a bit political—is one that the MCU never managed to hit after The Winter Soldier, and it’s one a lot of people consider a high point of the film series. If this show is indeed aiming for and hitting that mark, that’s an exciting thing indeed.
Stan also had some clarifying thoughts about what, precisely, was going on for Bucky in that pivotal farewell he shared with Steve in Avengers: Endgame and what sort of emotional state the character is going to be taking into the new series.
“Where we arrived with [Bucky] at the end felt more like he was in a place with a desire for some sort of release: to start over, start life again in a way, find out who he is again on his own and leave all this behind,” Stan explained. “That’s where I felt like the character was at the end of Avengers: Endgame. It’s also what he wanted for Steve. Like anybody that ends up traumatized by a war experience, he was affected by it for the rest of his life. So, what felt like a desire there was for a restart — for him and for Steve in a way. It didn’t necessarily feel like the shield was gonna be that. Steve going back in time and saying, ‘I’m gonna take something for me now. I’ve been here for all these guys, and I’ve done the best I could. I’m just a man, and I’m going to go back and try to live my life.’ I feel that is something that Bucky would want for his best friend, and at the same time, Steve is saying to Bucky, ‘You’re going to go and do that, too. I’m not going to put this thing on you. We’re both going to live our lives — the lives that were actually taken from us back in the ‘40s when we enlisted.’”
Because the Captain America title is so deeply intertwined with the Avengers’ heroism and fight to keep the world safe, it was a big deal that the now-elderly Steve Rogers ended up deciding to pass on the mantle and the shield to his friend Sam Wilson in the final act of Avengers: Endgame. Anthony Mackie thinks so too.Read more
What that means is that this version of Bucky isn’t one who really was ever interested in Captain America’s shield at all, and harbours no ill will for not being the next Captain America. He’s far more interested in simply living his life, and trying to figure out what it means to be Bucky Barnes in this bizarre future he’s found himself flung into. Presumably, that struggle is going to make up a major thematic backbone of Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier was originally slated to premiere on Disney Plus this summer, but it was halted just a few weeks from the end of production due to the novel coronavirus. Its release plans are currently unclear.