Sam Wilson using wings as shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

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After six movies of watching him fight the forces of evil either as a supporting character or part an ensemble, Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson finally scored the spotlight in Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier alongside Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. As per usual, Sam was a pro with using his Falcon wing pack to take down bad guys over the course of the miniseries. However, there was one key difference between Sam’s fight scenes here versus those past movies: he didn’t use any guns this time around.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier VFX supervisor Eric Leven pointed this out in my recent interview with him after I asked if there were any elements he and this team added to certain sequences in the show that weren’t laid out in the script or during shooting. In his words:

This may be different than what you’re asking, but I’m gonna tell you this anyway because it’s my favorite thing ever. In the original script, during the hot potato sequence, there’s a bad guy that flips on his back and starts shooting at Sam. If you recall, in all the previous movies with Falcon, he has guns, he has sidearms. And we made the decision really early on to not have him use guns. So instead of just having Sam shoot that bad guy, it was our idea to have him kind of fly around, pull his ripcord and take the guy out by having his chute go off. I really enjoyed that.

In case the hot potato sequence isn’t ringing any bells for you, Eric Leven is talking about the action-packed opening of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s first episode, which saw Sam Wilson rescuing Air Force Captain Vassant from a plane that’d been hijacked by the terrorist group LAF, led by fellow Captain America: The Winter Soldier alum Georges Batroc. While it would have been easy enough for Sam to gun down the terrorists, Eric Leven and those bringing this sequence to decided to ditch the firearms in favor of our winged hero dispatching opponents more creatively. As such, we got takedowns like the parachute moment that Leven enjoyed so much.

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So Sam Wilson opted not to use guns in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but what about going forward? Well, if his debut as Captain America in the miniseries’ final episode is any indication, this appears to be a permanent move. Much like Steve Rogers did after being unfrozen in the present day, Sam is now using the Captain America shield as his only projectile weapon, although he also has a new version of the Redwing drone to help him out of jams. That’s not to say that Sam will never fire a gun again in the MCU again, but he appears content with his current methods.

You can watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in its entirety on Disney+, and if you’re not subscribed to the streaming service, you’re welcome to rectify that with this link. Anthony Mackie is primed to reprise Sam Wilson in Captain America 4, and the MCU’s next Disney+ series, Loki, will premiere on June 9. Learn what else this superhero franchise is sending to the small screen in our upcoming Marvel TV shows guide.

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