Hot on the heels of its runaway success with WandaVision, Disney+ is wasting no time premiering its next TV series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off, with the two title characters — Sam "The Falcon" Wilson and Bucky "The Winter Soldier" Barnes — committed to continuing the work of their now-elderly best friend Steve Rogers, the former Captain America. The new series promises to be an action-heavy affair, with plenty of interpersonal friction between longtime frenemies Sam and Bucky. So who all from the MCU is set to appear, and who's shaping up to be the villain? We've got everything you need to know about the cast.
Sam Wilson made his MCU debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He's a former Air Force pararescue trooper who meets Steve Rogers as the latter jogs circles around him out and around Washington D.C. He soon joined Cap and eventually the Avengers as the Falcon, using mechanized wing apparatuses to fly and fire off projectiles. In Captain America: Civil War, Sam had Steve's back as he refused to sign the Sokovia Accords and teamed up to try to rescue and deprogram the Winter Soldier. And, of course, in Avengers: Endgame, it was Sam's voice that heralded to Steve that the dusted Avengers had all returned and had his back:
At the end of Endgame, Sam and Bucky together accepted the now-aged Steve's shield and appeared to jointly take up the mantle of Captain America. Anthony Mackie had his breakthrough role opposite fellow future-Avenger Jeremy Renner in the Best Picture-winning film The Hurt Locker, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male.
Bucky Barnes is Steve Rogers's oldest friend from all the way back in Brooklyn. The two served in the Army together in World War II, and when Steve got juiced up and became Captain America, Bucky served as one of Cap's Howling Commandos. Then Bucky was captured behind enemy lines, experimented on by Hydra, and after Steve risked it all to rescue him, Bucky ended up falling off a train to his apparent death. Only he didn't die; he was recovered by Hydra, which experimented on him, brainwashed him, and turned him into a half-bionic supersoldier assassin, one who crosses paths with Steve again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Bucky was the titular Winter Soldier). Cap then spent the better part of two movies trying to corral and deprogram his old best friend, finally succeeding in getting Bucky back, and Bucky was part of the gang fighting to defeat Thanos in Infinity War and Endgame. At the end of the Infinity Saga, Bucky and Sam, classic frenemies feuding for Steve's love, decided to take up the work of Captain America together. Sebastian Stan had early roles in TV shows like Gossip Girl, Political Animals, and Kings. Outside of the MCU, his best known film roles have been as Meryl Streep's son in Ricki and the Flash and as Jeff Gillooly in I, Tonya.
Acclaimed Spanish/German actor Daniel Brühl is probably best known stateside for his roles in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and in Ron Howard's auto racing film Rush, where he starred opposite Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, and for which he came within a hair's breadth of an Oscar nomination. In 2016, he starred in Captain America: Civil War as Helmut Zemo, a Sokovian whose family was killed in the Avengers' battle with Ultron and who devises an elaborate plot to destroy the Avengers from within. Part of that plot included weaponizing the still-brainwashed Winter Soldier and framing him for the Vienna explosion that kills King T'Chaka of Wakanda. Zemo ended Civil War imprisoned, but one imagines he won't stay that way for long in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
We first met Sharon Carter (also known, especially in the comics, as Agent 13) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when she posed as Steve Rogers' neighbor in an effort to keep tabs on him for S.H.I.E.L.D. After S.H.I.E.L.D. was essentially dismantled, Sharon returned in Civil War, this time working for the CIA, secreting intel to Steve about Bucky. Meanwhile, Sharon and Steve had this quasi-flirtation thing going on. As the great-niece of Steve Rogers' great love, Peggy Carter, Sharon was always a little icky as a love interest for Steve, but maybe she'll fare better opposite his two besties, as all three of them are clearly in love with Steve. Emily VanCamp is best known for her television roles, first on the WB drama Everwood, then as the secret sibling on ABC's wine-soaked Brothers & Sisters, and then as the vengeance-seeking Emily Thorne on ABC's delicious Revenge.
The character of John Walker hasn't appeared in the MCU yet, but in the comics, he's a superpowered soldier who goes by U.S. Agent (and formerly Super Patriot), who was an antagonist for Steve Rogers and later served as Captain America for a time. He's be played by Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, whose best-known TV role was on the underappreciated AMC series Lodge 49. Most recently he's appeared on the Showtime series The Good Lord Bird. In May, he'll be on Netflix opposite Amy Adams in the film The Woman in the Window.
Former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has made a handful of films in his post-fighting career. One of them was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he made his MCU debut as Georges Batroc, a mercenary and pirate who engages in a memorable hand-to-hand battle with Steve.
Don Cheadle took over the role of James "Rhodey" Rhodes in Iron Man 2, (Terrence Howard played him in the first movie). Rhodey is a close ally of Tony Stark's Iron Man, who eventually takes up a mechanized fighting suit of his own to go by the name War Machine. At the end of Age of Ultron, Rhodes joins the Avengers, alongside Sam Wilson's Falcon. In Captain America: Civil War, Rhodes sides with his pal Stark against Cap, Falcon, and their allies, and in the big airfield battle in that movie, Rhodes is critically injured, with Sam inadvertently responsible. Rhodes survives, but he needs robotic apparatuses on his legs to walk again. Rhodes survived the Snap in Infinity War, and in Endgame, he's part of the massive cohort that takes down Thanos, though his best pal Tony died in the process. Cheadle is an acclaimed actor from films like Devil in a Blue Dress and Hotel Rwanda (for which he was Oscar nominated) and TV shows like House of Lies and Black Monday.
In the comics, the supervillain Flag Smasher was Karl Morganthou, an anti-nationalist terrorist. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that character has been gender-swapped, and Karli Morganthou is now part of an organization called the Flag-Smashers. British actress Erin Kellyman starred as space pirate Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story and as Eponine in the BBC miniseries Les Miserables. Later this year, she'll star opposite Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander in The Green Knight.
Acclaimed actress Adepero Oduye was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her breakthrough performance in director Dee Rees's 2011 film Pariah. Since then, she's starred in films like 12 Years a Slave, The Big Short, and Widows. On TV, she played Annelle in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias, and co-starred in Ava DuVernay's Netflix limited series When They See Us. On The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Oduye plays Sam Wilson's sister Sarah.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney+ March 19th.
People are talking about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in our forums. Join the conversation.
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.