While the U.S. Capitol January 6 riots shocked the world, they were equally jarring for the creative team behind Disney+/Marvel’s political action series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
“It only goes to show that the conversation we were having is long overdue,” says series director Kari Skogland.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows the rise of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) as the next Captain America post Steve Rogers’ retirement in a divided America which feasibly anoints those for public positions who may otherwise not be qualified (sound familiar?). In that case, esteemed soldier John Walker (Wyatt Russell) has taken up the shield; a guy who is a war hero, but has earned his stripes by questionable methods. Though he’s earnest, let’s just say he lacks the edge for the job, which Sam possesses. Together with Bucky Barnes, Sam look to quell the uprising from a terrorist group which is looking to amass the superhero strength serum. They take their orders from the mysterious Power Broker, and all trails lead Sam, Bucky and John to Europe where they face off this group known as the Flagsmashers.
“One of the important things I wanted to explore in this series was the idea of a hero, and what is a hero today” says Skogland about her pitch to Marvel brass for the helming gig.
“What is it to be a Black Captain America and what that journey looks like in terms of not just his own community, but the racism of the white community; this Black man picking up a white iconic shield, which is the metaphor for the flag,” explains the director on the topics she wanted to explore in Falcon and the Winter Solider.
Skogland talks with us today about shutting down production during Covid, what changed, that great speech in the final episode by Mackie’s Sam Wilson, cultivating John Walker’s enigma from Wyatt Russell’s performance, and more.
Skogland was Emmy-nominated for outstanding directing for a drama series in 2017 for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, episode “After”. She won a BAFTA award in 2018 for The Handmaid’s Tale as well.
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