There might be a Dora Milaje group text. That’s just one of the many interesting tidbits dispersed through a brand new making-of documentary for Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Disney+ has grouped these post-finale specials under the branding of Assembled; there was one for WandaVision, and now with Falcon over, we get to learn more about that series.
Over the course of an hour, fans get a look at all aspects of the production, from concept to casting, themes, effects, and more. It’s absolutely worth a watch because there’s a ton of great footage and insight in there, but here are the 12 bits we found the most interesting.
Anthony Mackie’s backstory became Sam Wilson’s
In the comics, Sam Wilson is usually from New York. However, for purposes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that was changed to be Louisiana, so that actor Anthony Mackie — who himself is from Louisiana — could find a deeper personal connection to the character.
Close to Lethal Weapon
Head writer and executive producer Malcolm Spellman said there’s a huge spectrum when it comes to “two-hander” movies. On one side are the very dramatic ones, of which he cites the extreme being 1958’s The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. Then, on the other side, are the buddy comedies, in which he mentions 2014’s Ride Along starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. Spellman explained he aimed for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to be almost right in the middle of that wide spectrum, the closest example being Lethal Weapon.
Adding Baron Zemo
When crafting the show, villain Baron Zemo wasn’t originally in the mix. But executive producer Nate Moore explains once they started to figure out the story, his addition came very naturally. Actor Daniel Brühl was excited too, because as much as he enjoyed his time in Captain America: Civil War, he was a little let down he never got to wear a comic-accurate mask, which he does in this show.
Not to be outdone by WandaVision’s many commercials, in the middle of Assembled is Brühl, as Zemo, doing a commercial for a place he calls “Suitcovia,” a clothing store in Sokovia (where Zemo is from) where one can get all the clothes that he wears. It’s random but hilarious, and must-see TV for sure.
Dora Milaje bonding
Actress Florence Kasumba said she’s always ready to come back to play her Black Panther Dora Milaje character Ayo no matter what the story is. Also, when they’re on other films, she and the other members of Wakanda’s elite fighting force keep in touch. She doesn’t say it’s a group chat thread, but we like to believe it is.
Location hopping and covid-19
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was supposed to shoot in Puerto Rico; scouting took place, things were designed and planned, and then on January 7, 2020, a massive earthquake hit the country and much of that infrastructure. Marvel wasn’t deterred though and continued to plan on filming in Puerto Rico when, all of a sudden, another major earthquake hit. At that point, Disney made the unfortunate decision to move the production to Prague. Filming began when… the covid-19 pandemic hit, shutting everything down. Marvel had to fly around 100 of its crew out of the country early the next morning to make sure everyone could be with their families, where they stayed for several months until filming resumed under safety protocols.
Madripoor’s actual location
The fictional city of Madripoor is supposed to be in Southeast Asia but in reality, it’s in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Production designer Raymond Chan revealed he and director Kari Skogland weren’t sure where to film the Madripoor scenes when they found a few random, claustrophobic, empty back alleys outside a small town near Atlanta. Then, using inspiration from Mozambique and Vietnam, he dressed it look like what we finally saw in the show.
The return of Sharon Carter
Marvel executives had been wanting to bring Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter back to the MCU for a while. They explored ways to fit her into Infinity War and Endgame but ultimately, it was just too much. They felt it worked out for the best because without the weight of her being Steve Rogers’ love interest, they were able to explore what the events of Civil War did to her. And, we now know, it set her up for much bigger, more villainous things to come.
The Truck Fight
The fight between the Flag-Smashers, Sam, Bucky, John Walker, and Lemar in the second episode was apparently one of the most difficult scenes to shoot. First of all, it was supposed to be in Germany but was shot in Atlanta. Also, it was all contained on two moving trucks, which is basically impossible in real life. So almost everything in the scene is visual effects — from the trucks, to the tires, to removing of wires, the mountains, basically everything, including the actors when it was necessary.
The show’s big opening sequence, which sees Sam going after Batroc the Leaper, was much more real in comparison to the truck fight. For example, the crew spent several days filming actual skydivers to get shots in the air, and Batroc’s crew, who use wing suits, were actual professional wing suit flyers. Falcon, obviously, is largely CGI as are the helicopters and more.
The addition of writer Malcolm Spellman is when the idea to bring Isaiah Bradley became a big part of the show. Apparently, Spellman was a huge fan of the Truth: Red, White and Black comic book series by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker and wanted to use that arc as a big part of his idea for the show. Marvel loved it.
The new cowl
Since Falcon becomes Captain America, obviously, a lot of attention was paid to the new costume. One piece that was more difficult than others, though, was the cowl, which was designed very specifically and carefully. Unfortunately, the costume team realised it wasn’t physically possible to make that cowl look how it looks and stay in place at the same time. It was just not strong enough and moved around a lot on screen. As a result, anytime you see Sam in the costume, a good amount of visual effects are being used just on the cowl itself. Removing extra seams, straighten things out, etc. It’s something they’ll likely be working on for a while before Captain America 4.
You can check out The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+.