Perhaps the key development in Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” through two episodes is the introduction of a new Captain America. John Walker (Wyatt Russell) has arrived in the MCU, and he’s bringing a different energy as Captain America.
In the comics, Walker is not the nicest person and would never be confused for Steve Rogers. That appears to be the case for his on-screen persona as well. For Russell, that’s just fine. He’s ok playing a bit of a heel, and he doesn’t think fans are going to come around on him anytime soon.
Russell Believes Fans Will Continue to ‘side-eye’ His Captain America
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, Russell explained that he’s having fun being the “Marvel punching bag” for a moment. Walker is not the type of character Russell says he typically plays, so he’s enjoying doing so on such a big stage.
“That’s what I liked about the character,” Russell told Entertainment Tonight. “Polarizing people are fun to play as an actor, and if you do it in a way that is believable, hopefully people really won’t like you. I’ve never really played a very unlikable person, so it’s been super fun, I’ve got to be honest, to have been received that way. Then there are other times where you’re like, ‘But I’m a nice guy!'”
When he assumes the mantle of Captain America in the comics, Walker does rub people the wrong way. The responsibility of the role does ultimately change Walker for the better, but he does maintain an abrasive personality. It’s possible that Walker undergoes a similar positive transformation as the show continues on, but perhaps that redemption may not be coming too soon.
“You might side-eye the man for more to come,” Russell told Entertainment Tonight.
What Is Walker’s Future in the MCU?
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is only six episodes long, but much of the discussion surrounding the series is the impact it will have on the future of the MCU. With Captain America a central figure in Marvel comics, and still presumably for the MCU, whoever assumes that identity by the show’s end – if anyone does – will be in an important role moving forward.
Russell didn’t provide any hints for what may be in store these coming weeks, however. Joking that Marvel is “like a vault” with its secrets, Russell said his focus isn’t on the future but rather the current role.
“I just try to do a good job and hopefully this one is good, and it’s good enough to make more — but it’s above my pay grade,” Russell told Entertainment Tonight.
Although centered around Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” has introduced several new characters to the MCU. Thus far, Russell’s Walker has been given the most screentime and backstory. Walker has a steady presence in the comics and eventually takes on the guise of US Agent after his run as Captain America, so it remains possible Russell could stay in the mix after the show’s conclusion.