One is a trippy, witchy magical trip through sitcom history and the other is a much simpler action thriller, and yet somehow they exist in the same universe. It's all, as star Sebastian Stan tells E! News, to the credit of Kevin Feige and the geniuses at Marvel.
"They're always trying to give you something different and keep you on the edge of your seat," he says. "And honor what's happened but keep it different, keep it new."
Stan stars as Bucky Barnes, AKA the Winter Soldier, alongside Anthony Mackie as Sam "Falcon" Wilson in the new series, which launches this Friday. They're an unlikely duo who team up to face off against a terrorist group, all while trying to work through their own issues that have arisen after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Being erased for five years is really hard, as it turns out.
While WandaVision fans went crazy with the fan theories and the mystery-solving, don't expect the same kind of thing to happen here. This is a lot more about the ass-kicking than the hexing, like a typical Marvel movie, but with way more time for character development.
"They're not comparable," Stan says of the two shows. "It's the same universe, but we're a very different show. We're much [more] grounded, and I think our tone is different. It actually feels very real to the world as we know it."
So what is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
"It's an action packed thriller," Mackie says. "It's still in the vein of the Captain America series but it's the two of us. It's a show that has suspense, it's a show that has, you know, major broad action events but also quiet storytelling character moments. So it's definitely still in the vein of Captain America but a wildly wildly, more, more in-depth look at the characters instead of a two hour movie."
All that said, the show is likely to still drive you back to the comics (or at least the comic wiki pages) for some context. For example, the terrorist group that the team is facing is called the Flag-Smashers, taken from a supervillain called the Flag-Smasher. In the comics, this villain is a symbol for anti-patriotism—the opposite of Captain America—but this iteration is a little different and has to do with the Blip.
That's the in-universe name for when Thanos wiped out half the universe in Infinity War, and then half the universe was brought back five years later in Endgame. Both Sam and Bucky got erased during the Blip, and it turns out there's a lot of fall out beyond what we've seen from just Spider-Man: Far From Home and WandaVision.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres tomorrow on Disney+. Stay tuned for more from Mackie and Stan!