Good news for any Marvel Cinematic Universe fan feeling exhausted by the onslaught of fan theories generated across the nine-episode run of “WandaVision”: It appears “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” the next MCU series debuting on Disney+, isn’t going to function the same way. The mystery box structure of “WandaVision” fueled such an obsession with fan theories (Mephisto, anyone?) that series director Matt Shakman came forward ahead of the finale to warn fans they would be disappointed by the ending, as it did not play into the many circulating theories online. For Marc Spellman, the creator of and head writer on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” fan theories won’t be an issue for the series, as his show is “a buddy two-hander” and not a narrative mystery.
“The thing about buddy two-handers, if you’ve seen any of them, is there’s really not a mystery to them,” Spellman told Inverse. “They’re all character-first. They’re all about the emotion and connection, or lack of connection, between characters, and that’s something I do as a writer and it’s something that the genre wants. As amazing as ‘WandaVision’ was, this is an antithesis in every single way.”
“It’s not about figuring something out, it is about characters,” Spellma continued. “One of the primary themes of this series is identity and the fact that Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) all saw themselves as one way at the beginning of the story. This is about a muscular story forcing these characters to rethink how they see themselves and confront how the world sees them. To get the emotion of that, you want as much of that to be outward and of-the-moment, so that you can have as emotional an experience [as possible].”
While Spellman is downplaying the fan-theory driven nature of his show’s storytelling, there’s no doubt a certain section of the MCU fandom will be watching “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and hunting for clues. Spellman’s tease to Entertainment Weekly that the series connects to at least three other MCU projects that he isn’t allowed to talk about is only going to make fans speculate during the series’ six-episode run.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” kicks off its streaming run this Friday, March 19 on Disney+.