With Falcon & The Winter Soldier due to start filming in November, speculation about what this show will entail for the Marvel world and its characters is at an all-time high.
But while there are things fans are really hoping to see, there are also some stones that may be better left un-turned. From the specific, to the universe-affecting, from the silly to the serious, here are 5 fan theories we hope come true in Falcon & The Winter Soldier and 5 we don't.
10 Reject: Sam Isn't Really Captain America
There's been some theorizing, helped along by the show's star, that Sam Wilson will not actually get to be Captain America in Falcon & The Winter Soldier. While sticking to the old moniker might makes sense for the title of the show, especially from the perspective of ensuring the audience understands who the characters are, Sam should absolutely be Captain America during the run.
Of course, this is not to suggest that who the Falcon is, and who Sam is, shouldn't shape what it means to be Captain America overall, but that this convergence is crucially important. Hopefully the new series will see Sam donning both the shield and the title.
9 Hope For: The Show Will Address Real Life Issues
On a similar note, fans are rightfully pointing out that the MCU is meant to take place in our current day and age, which means taking a good hard look at issues plaguing our society. Historically, Marvel, and many other comic book organizations, have always been closely tied to the political issues of the time, engaging and illuminating them through the lens of fiction.
The storyline, for instance, of Sam Wilson being named the new Captain America is an amazing one, but telling it without properly discussing the racism, hardships, and opposition Sam would face as he adjusts to his new identity, would be a great disservice. The audience is keeping their fingers crossed that Marvel takes this chance to shed light on important topics that must be discussed.
8 Reject: Character Death
As excitement mixes with nerves, fans start to get nervous about the fates of their favorites. But killing Sam, Bucky, Sharon, or even Old Steve, seems like it would be a big mistake for Falcon & The Winter Soldier. With the exception of Steve, none of these characters have gotten enough screen-time throughout the movies so far, and yet they are all beloved. As the MCU phases move forward, and long-time bedrock characters such as Iron Man are lost, it would be much wiser for Marvel to evolve and grow these characters, not kill them off at the first chance they get.
When it comes to Old Steve, it just seems, again, like there's just not enough space in the show to handle giving Sam and Bucky their own arcs and dealing with the death of a major character. Hopefully, the series won't make these decisions, but only time will tell.
7 Hope For: Trauma and Healing Will Be At Center
While Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan might be a hilarious duo of the buddy cop style variety, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are cut from a much different cloth. Bucky, for his part, has gone through an immense amount of trauma over his prolonged life span, none of which has really ever been addressed, and Sam Wilson has seen his fair share of horrors as well.
On top of this, both characters were dusted in Infinity War and both of them lost their best friend shortly after returning to life. Fans are engaged in these intense and intricate characterizations and storylines, and rightfully hope that they are correct in theorizing that trauma and healing will be at center of the show.
6 Reject: Bucky Barnes Will Go On a Date
Speaking of healing, many people are curious what Bucky Barnes will do now that he is, ostensibly, recovered, although it depends on who is being asked the question, is a big topic of conversation around the new show. Many people believe that Bucky Barnes is overdue for a romantic connection, but many also don't think it's the right course of action.
Just in terms of show real estate, however, it seems like it wouldn't make much sense. In a six-episode run, there's a lot to pack in, and unless there's some kind of prior connection, which Bucky doesn't really have, it seems like it would be difficult to establish anything truly meaningful. Playing a date for laughs, or worse, simply creating a pairing out of thin air, is something that the show would do well to avoid.
5 Hope For: A Queer Bucky Barnes
Representation of different sexualities is something that fans have been calling for since the inception of the MCU and many hope to see it the Falcon & The Winter Soldier through the character of Bucky Barnes. Since The First Avenger came out in 2011, fans have been eyeing the relationship between Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers as deeper than it is overtly seen on screen.
After all, they do both regularly try to die for one another and willingly give up everything to hold onto their connection. While the above caveat still holds, Bucky should not go on a date just for laughs or just because with anyone, it would be nice to see more representation shaded into the universe through the lens of a relationship that has already been built and already makes sense. No dates necessary.
4 Reject: Brainwashed Sharon Carter
Comic enthusiasts may remember that Baron Zemo, the villain of Falcon & The Winter Soldier, was the one who brainwashed Sharon Carter to kill Steve Rogers in the comics. Given this information, the internet is abuzz wondering if this storyline will come to pass in the Disney+ series.
However, much like it would be a waste to make Sharon into simply a love interest, this arc too wouldn't give Sharon a real chance to shine for herself. It would instead saddle her with intense guilt for the duration of her MCU existence and become the focal point of any interaction with her. This is one theory that might be best left on the cutting room floor.
3 Hope For: Sharon Carter Will Not Be A Love Interest
Both in the comics and in the MCU itself, Sharon Carter's role has largely centered about being some kind of love interest for Captain America. But with the return of Emily VanCamp to the MCU, fans are hoping that this time around will be different.
There's so much that Avengers: Endgame and Spiderman: Far From Home to go into with regards to Thanos's snap, and Sharon, as a CIA Agent, last the audience saw her, could be a great in to how the political and power structures of the world have been operating throughout those harrowing times. As a trained soldier and intelligence officer in her own right, it's definitely time for Sharon to stop playing the love interest.
2 Reject: Bucky Cuts His Hair
Though it's looking more likely and less theory, Bucky Barnes's hair is iconic and should not be cut. While the argument could be made that Bucky is looking to "rediscover" himself as he was before everything happened to him, the fact of the matter is, it has been 100 years since he had short hair and his entire being has changed in that time.
Although hair is just a stand-in for the bigger picture, Bucky shouldn't be looking backwards to who he was in a time he can never get back, he should be looking forward to who he will become. The show should take a closer look at what it means for Bucky to be a self with agency again, but that shouldn't be just automatically reverting him to who he used to be.
1 Hope For: Steve Is A Skrull
Although the ending of Avengers: Endgame is designed to look like a conclusion for one Steve Rogers, fans are never satisfied with the obvious. In this case, they are theorizing that Old Steve Rogers was actually a skrull. Much of this line of thought is bolstered by Spiderman: Far From Home, where the MCU sets up the conceit that, sometimes, even characters the audience thinks they are watching are really skrulls.
Given that Steve Rogers has always been a very important presence in both Sam and Bucky's stories, it would make a lot of sense to have him still be relevant in the new show. In many ways, Sam, and especially Bucky, were not given any closure with their best friend in Endgame, and this could be a great way to rectify that oversight. Not to mention, having Sam and Bucky realize that Old Steve is a skrull, and that the real Steve Rogers is still lost somewhere in time, would make an excellent set up for introducing yet another famous comic event, Secret Invasion, to the world of the MCU.