The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director debunks pandemic plot rumor

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
(Image credit: Disney)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland has debunked rumors that a pandemic storyline was scrapped in the series.

When asked by Collider about the theories that the show originally featured such a plot, Skogland answered: "No. Yeah, you can debunk that."

There has been speculation that, after COVID-19 hit, the Flag Smashers' storyline was restructured to avoid this rumored virus story. But in the same interview, Skogland revealed that the series was almost completely finished by the time filming shut down in March 2020.

"We started shooting in October of 2019 and we had shot about 75 percent [before production shut down]. So we really knew the story we were telling for sure. So when we shut down, we only had about 25 percent left to shoot," she said. "So I think the only story changes we made were small character tweaks." She explained this involved a scene between Karli and her fellow Flag Smasher Dovich, then said: "But in terms of the big themes that we were already talking about, we were absolutely just on the same track."

Similarly, Skogland said a scene between John Walker and Lamar Hoskins was "added or tweaked." She commented: "We wanted to dig into what John Walker was thinking. And I think we had it a slightly different way. And so we tweaked that scene to reflect what we had discovered through the process of shooting John Walker and who he was and how much he, in many ways, was just an earnest guy trying to do the right thing, but didn't have the right tools, the right DNA of him as a soul. We wanted to deepen that conversation with him and Lamar, so we went inside that a little bit. These are the small tweaks we did – it was all character-based and that was it."

The interview also touched on Captain America 4, which is reportedly in the works. Skogland, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman and the new Cap Anthony Mackie, didn't confirm anything: "I still don't know anything about it. I don't even know that the headline's true. So I have no idea about any of that."

All six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are streaming now on Disney Plus. The next Marvel TV show will be Loki, which arrives as part of Marvel Phase 4 on June 11. Until then, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order to get up to speed – and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.