The new Super Bowl trailer for The Falcon & The Winter Soldier noticeable hides the real new Captain America – Wyatt Russell’s John Walker – but why?
Falcon & The Winter Soldier‘s Super Bowl trailer included lots of new, exciting footage, but notably, Wyatt Russell’s new Captain America was limited to a repeated shot from behind that aired in an earlier trailer. The footage instead doubled down on the dynamic between Bucky and Sam, of course, but also firming up the idea of what Zemo’s plan is and who he might be working with. So, why does the marketing appear to be hiding Steve Rogers’ official, government-sponsored replacement?
With the pandemic claiming lots of key releases and Marvel still unable to release Black Widow (with another release delay firmly expected), all eyes turned to the next Disney+ Marvel show. WandaVision is already proving to be incredibly well-received, so marketing Falcon & The Winter Soldier heavily at this stage makes a lot of sense. There are just two weeks between the end of WandaVision and the start of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes’ return, after all, and with Scarlet Witch’s breakdown fitting the idea of dangerous superheroes, it’s possible that the Sokovia Accords and Zemo will tie the two shows together closely.
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With Sam Wilson taking on Steve Rogers’ shield and being considered his heir apparent, the question of Captain America’s legacy is one of the key narrative driving forces behind Falcon & The Winter Soldier. But Sam isn’t the only one looking to carry on Steve’s work, as the government has their own replacement in the shape of John Walker, better known as US Agent in the comics. Curiously, the marketing so far has been very muted around Walker, who is played by Wyatt Russell, but that’s not because he’s a minor character. Instead, the marketing is leaning heavily into Sam and Bucky’s odd couple dynamic and the continuation of ideas established in Captain America: Civil War. In short, they don’t yet need to reveal the MCU’s new Captain America.
There’s also the very real fact that revealing a new Captain America too prominently in the marketing threatens to overshadow the suggestion of Steve’s presence. The narrative of the marketing will no doubt shift as WandaVision‘s did a couple of episodes in, focusing more on Walker’s role as the split in ideology between what Steve Rogers represented and what the government wants the Captain America brand to be becomes more apparent. But coming into the show, the key questions are more how Sam will take to his new role – even without the iconic Cap costume – how he and Bucky will work together without Steve and more of a picture of how the world views superheroes in the wake of Avengers: Endgame.
To focus too heavily on the immediate introduction of a new Cap would be to confuse those narratives in the marketing. And the reality is that John Walker is a very different prospect to what Steve Rogers was and the two Captain Americas will be ideologically very different if the comics are anything to go by. Walker represents a more dangerous form of patriotism and a more extreme approach to justice in the name of the government, while Steve’s position had softened throughout his arc. Showing too much of that in the trailers with Steve’s legacy still not explored through his two closest friends and companions would be a disservice. And protecting the spoilers of the nature of the new Captain America can be one of Falcon & The Winter Soldier‘s most intriguing marketing decisions.
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
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