In a 6-episode action series, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” Sam Wilson/The Falcon and Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience.
Every Marvel Movie to Watch Before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”
But if you're new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), not familiar with the comic book storyline, or simply want a refresher before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” drops, we have some guidance for you as to what Marvel movies you should watch before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
What to Watch Before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”
6 Marvel Movies to Watch Before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”
Let's start at the very beginning. This might seem obvious, but maybe not to someone unfamiliar with the MCU. Not only is this the beginning of the MCU chronologically, but it's where we see the inception of Captain America (Chris Evans), as well as where we first meet Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Steve Rogers' childhood best friend. That childhood friendship is a theme that will carry through the entire Avengers series right into “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) is where we are first introduced to Sam Wilson and we get the infamous “On your left!” quote as Cap laps him around his run in D.C. We also learn of Bucky Barnes' history with HYDRA in this film and how he became The Winter Soldier. He serves as an antagonist in this film, but don't worry, while we don't want to give spoilers, clearly, he comes out on the good side of things if he was helping the Avengers later on and is now cohorts with Sam.
As we learn about HYDRA and what they did to Bucky, we also learn that SHIELD was infiltrated by HYDRA. Sam and many of the other Avengers saw this go down, so you can imagine it made them a bit distrustful of the government.
Not that this should affect your decision whether or not to watch this film, but it's my favorite of all the films in the MCU.
Captain America: Civil War is another key film critical to the story development and understanding the relationship between Sam and Bucky. It gives you some insight into the banter you will expect in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” from Sam and Bucky. They don't really like each other, they're not friends. They co-exist because they have to.
We also meet the villain Zemo (Daniel Brühl) in Captain America: Civil War. He's reprising his role for “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” so this is another reason Civil War is a good one to add to your What to Watch before “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” Watch List.
Black Panther (2018)
While this one I would consider optional if you are running short on time, I can definitely make a case for its importance.
Bucky spent a hefty amount of time trying to clear his mind in the peaceful, calm land of Wakanda. Wakanda is also where Bucky was when T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Bosemen) gifted him his new vibranium arm. After the titanium arm Bucky was given by HYDRA was destroyed by Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa gave him a vibranium replacement during Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2020)
Both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are actively a part of the two end films of the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The two movies, which really are like one giant episodic masterpiece, will catch you up on what's happening on the MCU now and what's happened in the last 5 years. Currently, in the MCU (as in as we enter “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”) it's 2023, after Thanos' Snap and a 5-year gap now that we have half the universe back after the Blip.
Optional: Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
So while this is one of my favorite movies (so funny!) overall it's not majorly related to “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
However, last January, an Atlanta film peep claimed to have seen Ghost (an antagonist in Ant-Man and The Wasp) on set. So if you have the time and interest, it might be worth a watch to understand that villain a little better and how she fits in.
The short story is that the Ghost/Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen) is an assassin with superpowers who can phase through solid material. Her origin story is similar to Bucky's in that she was also stolen by a shadow organization and manipulated to do their dirty deed. When we last saw her, she was slowly dying from her powers just before Thanos' snap.
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On your left!
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is streaming on Disney+ Friday, March 19.
Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience. Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, the series also stars Daniel Brühl as Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Wyatt Russell as John Walker.