The streaming wars are heating up, and Marvel’s available Avengers are ready to fight.
According to Variety, Marvel is actively developing a limited series starring Captain America cohorts Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky aka The Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) for exclusive debut on Disney’s unnamed streaming service. The news arrives after whispers that spinoff vehicles for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch were also in the works. Each series is expected to run six to eight episodes, the trade reports.
Marvel has recruited Empire writer Malcolm Spellman to write the series. Last year, HBO announced Spellman would bring the alt-universe epic Confederate to life with Game of Thrones writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, but after a wave of controversy, it’s unclear if that show will move forward. (Weiss and Benioff themselves have signed on to a different Disney project: an unnamed Star Wars tale)
Slashfilm, which independently confirmed the news, notes that Stan and Mackie have long-discussed teaming up for their own project, hinting that the tone could resemble Midnight Run and other classic buddy comedies. (The site also mentions that Vision could play a significant role in Scarlet Witch’s show.) Marvel did not comment on the developing series, so it’s unclear exactly what to expect from the finished product, but if Civil War and Infinity War is any indication, the Falcon-Winter Soldier rapport should live up to the promise.
Disney’s streaming service is an aggressive play to take on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (although after the Fox merger, that last one may wind up being just another arm of the conglomerate’s business). The cancelation of both Luke Cage and Iron Fist over the last month is an indication that Disney intends to bring Marvel properties back into the Magic Kingdom gates. A slew of MCU series was a matter of when, not if.
Beyond the tentative Marvel shows, officially announced programming set for the Disney includes The Mandalorian, a Star Wars series written by Jon Favreau; one final season of the animated The Clone Wars; series based on High Fidelity, Mighty Ducks and Monsters, Inc.; and a live-action remake of The Lady and the Tramp with voices by Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux.
But wait: Falcon and Winter Soldier died in Avengers: Infinity War! How could they possibly come back?? Uh, well ... spoilers?