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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier came to an epic conclusion last week with Sam Wilson finally suiting up as the all-new Captain America.
Inevitably though, ever since we saw Sam Wilson take to the skies in his fancy new duds, we’ve been craving more Falcon and Winter Soldier goodness! So when we were offered the chance to chat with Malcolm Spellman, a writer and producer on the show, we were on it quicker than John Walker on super-soldier serum.
Even more excitingly, it was announced that Malcolm was helping Marvel write Captain America 4, and we were determined to get some top secret info from him. We kind of succeeded…
UNILAD: Let’s start with an icebreaker question but one that’s been on the lips of Falcon fans for years now. In the comics, Falcon can ‘talk to birds’. When you were writing this show did you consider giving him this power? And are you considering giving him it in Captain America 4?
Malcolm Spellman: It is… you know actually I’m gonna take a leap and answer this one because I don’t think I can get in trouble for it. It was discussed in the room but I don’t think anyone in the room felt like there was a way to do that right, you know what I’m saying?
I don’t know what’s gonna happen in Cap 4 though… I probably just overstepped with you [UNILAD] so that’s your one spoiler.
UNILAD: There was real power in seeing an African American man in the Captain America suit, wielding the shield. How important was it to get that first reveal of Sam as Cap right?
Malcolm Spellman: It was huge, this whole journey we knew what it had to feel like from the beginning, and we spoke in excruciating detail about that first big hero moment. It surpassed any feeling I’ve had.
I don’t get emotional much, but man, as a Black kid who grew up stealing comic books so we could read them and stay up on the stories, it was just a powerful, powerful moment.
UNILAD: I loved that line, ‘that’s Black Falcon. No, that’s Captain America’, I think that was my favourite line of the whole final episode. Do you remember how that line came about?
Malcolm Spellman: [Laughs] Spoiler number two! Kari [Skogland] the director was going to have me say ‘that’s Black Falcon’ right there, you know what I’m saying?
Because this world was going be populated by Black folk, we wanted that ‘barbershop talk’ that’s famous in barbershops, at least in America, and we wanted that kind of talk to exist around Cap. I love that moment too and wanted to be on set to say ‘that’s Black Falcon right there!’ [laughs]
UNILAD: Sam faces prejudice throughout the show, is that something that’s going to continue in Captain America 4?
Malcolm Spellman: [UNILAD] I’m sorry I can’t tell you, I have no idea what’s happening with Cap 4, that’s Kevin Feige stuff.
UNILAD: Fair enough, let’s switch tracks to Sharon Carter then. The reveal she was the Power Broker, that was quite the surprise! The reaction to it was mixed though; where did the idea to turn Sharon into a villain come from?
Malcolm Spellman: All people have to do is be honest about what they think Sharon’s been going through since Civil War? You know what I’m saying? No one else would take her in, she’d been disavowed, on the run, forced to hustle, right? It was a natural trajectory. Now, that said, Sharon’s journey isn’t over, and who knows where she’s going to end up or why she’s doing what’s she’s doing?
UNILAD: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier sort of brings Bucky’s arc, as the Winter Soldier at least, to an end. Was the plan always to wrap up Bucky’s journey in this show?
Malcolm Spellman: Yeah, that was gonna be a huge part of his journey and sort of the trauma that came with living that life of being an eternal soldier. We wanted to use the old Korean man as the embodiment of all those murders, including the Stark Family, and basically distil all those missions down into one man.
UNILAD: Speaking of missions, I’m aware we’re limited on time and I’d hate not to mention John Walker the perfect soldier, who always finishes the mission. I presumed going into this he was going to be the series baddie, but he’s not – he’s sort of a tortured soul. He gets a very interesting ending as the US Agent, do you know what we can expect next from him?
Malcolm Spellman: I can’t tell you that, but what I did appreciate about what the writers came up with, and what Wyatt [Russell] did with the character, is that he wasn’t one thing. It doesn’t feel to me like his trajectory is obvious. We know what he can do on a bad day, where he can go on a bad day, and that’s a testament to Wyatt.
UNILAD: We’re getting the wrap-up and I couldn’t talk to you about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and not mention Baron Zemo. How do you feel about the dancing Zemo meme?
Malcolm Spellman: I love it! I mean Daniel Bruhl was the surprise superstar, like if you were putting together a basketball team and there’s one you don’t spend much time with, and then he dunks from the three-point line, that was Daniel Bruhl. He just owned it, he was amazing.
UNILAD: He finally wears the purple mask from the comics in the show, I saw a fan theory online that it was supposed to be an in-universe reference to Thanos? Did you have an in-universe explanation for why he wears the mask?
Malcolm Spellman: It’s his history from when he was in the military, and who knows what else, but no it’s nothing to do with Thanos.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is exclusively streaming on Disney+
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