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Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in Captain America: Civil War (2016)

As one of the newest installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s a pretty much a foregone conclusion that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will push the franchise forward. However, if there’s one thing we know about Marvel Studios, it’s that they’re never opposed to bringing back characters from past films. This would lead anyone to wonder if this will be true for Sam and Bucky’s small-screen adventure on Disney+. And according to the writer, this will be the case.

John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad is bringing his talents to the MCU as part of the writing staff of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He’s dropped hints about the show before but has remained relatively cautious when it comes to dropping too many details. Now, he’s confirmed that the Disney+ series will indeed bring back familiar faces, but they may not be presented in the way that we remember them:

What I will say is that there are characters from the earliest of the Marvel movies that are coming back, and they’re layering them in and reinventing them in such a way that it’s gonna kind of shift the storytelling structure, and it’s fucking awesome.

Derek Kolstad’s comments to the Script Apart podcast are more than enough to get the speculative juices flowing. In the past, Marvel has found creative ways to bring characters back into the fray, whether it be reviving The Incredible Hulk’s Thunderbolt Ross for Civil War or even revisiting Iron Man’s William Ginter Riva in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Since at least part of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems to center on the legacy of Captain America, it’s possible that we could see returning characters from Steve Rogers’ orbit. This could specifically apply to those who were involved in the creation of the Super Soldier Program. Some of the early Phase One characters that come to mind are Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark, Stanley Tucci’s Abraham Erskine or even Tommy Lee Jones’ Col. Chester Phillips (all appearing via flashbacks, of course). The latter two would be particularly deep cuts for MCU fans.

The most intriguing part of Kolstad’s comments, though, is his mention of “reinventing” the characters. When William Hurt’s rumpled and hotheaded Gen. Ross returned to the MCU, he was transformed into a calm and politically savvy secretary of state. So we could see this same kind of dramatic twist with any other characters. And could we find out something shady about a likable character? Or could we even discover a more redeemable aspect of a villainous figure? Only time will tell.

It’ll be fun to see how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier adds to the mythology of the franchise. The MCU will more than likely never be the same when the series is done, which is both an exciting and slightly nerve-racking prospect.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soars onto Disney+ sometime in 2021.

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