Okay but Marvel What If You Let Me Write for Falcon & Winter Soldier?
I'm just saying, you don't have a lot of female screenwriters, Marvel.
Let’s go on a journey together. I, like many, spent the night screaming about the fact that we’re officially getting Falcon & Winter Soldier on Disney+ after it launches this November. Happy birthday to me! But with that knowledge comes a fear. From what we’ve seen in the films, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have an interesting dynamic with one another. When they’re not fighting against a common foe, they’re usually fighting with each other.
Two men who share a best friend, Sam and Bucky have always had a love/hate kind of relationship that skews towards the comedic. But if we’re not careful, that relationship can very easily go from love/hate to a pissing contest between two dudes. So, it might help to have a feminine touch while writing the series. (Also, hire more female writers anyway, dear Marvel. It is wild that you can count the number of female screenwriters that Marvel has hired on one hand. In fact, it is so staggering that Lindsey Beer, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Nicole Perlman started their own production company called “Known Universe” to combat the lack of women writing in genre fields.)
It’s not like we don’t exist. We do. I know plenty of women who know more about the lore and history of comics than most and they’re extremely talented writers. I know people who have spent every year since Iron Man immersed in the headspace of these characters in their respective fandoms. So with the Marvel shows on Disney+, I hope they start to fix the gender imbalance problem where writers are concerned. Sure, I’d love to be part of the solution (which is why I’m writing this article) but at the same time, there’s no excuse as to why we should still be concerned that the writers’ rooms will skew so heavily male.
All that being said, I believe there is a beautiful arc you can make with Falcon & Winter Soldier, showing the inherit combative nature of both these characters as well as their affection for one another, even if they act as if they can’t stand the other. It’s a delicate balance, but it can be done.
Personally, I hope they adapt the Kyle Higgins Winter Soldier comic to fit the show, adjusting aspects to have it flow within the Marvel Cinematic Universe but giving Falcon and Bucky a purpose, as well as an adoptive kid, that they have to help free from the grasp of a Hydra-like scenario (you know, since Hydra was defeated, at least to our knowledge, in the MCU).
So, what is my pitch for writing for the show? Two little scenes that can be a part of a pilot and/or subsequent episodes that demonstrate these characters in their true form, while still not diminishing them to petty jokes or dismissing their emotional growth as we’ve seen in the movies.
First, Sam trying to annoy Bucky:
INT. BAR – SMALL TOWN INDIANA
BUCKY BARNES is sitting at the bar, looking at a glass of whiskey with a frown. SAM WILSON walks in, looking around until he spots Bucky and rolling his eyes once he does so.
How did I know I’d find you here drinking that shit that isn’t going to do anything for you?
It makes me feel normal.
You have a metal arm.
Bucky doesn’t respond, just spinning his glass around on the bar.
Right. Forgot you’re a man of many words.
The two are silent.
You know what I think your problem is?
I can only imagine.
When was the last time you … you know.
Bucky stops spinning his glass around, raising his eyebrow at Sam.
That’s what I thought.
Sam looks around the bar and spots a woman.
Miss, have you met my friend here?
The WOMAN looks at them both, turning back to her friends and ignoring them both.
Wow, what a great wingman you are.
Sam is silent. Bucky chuckles.
Very funny, asshole.
And as much as these two characters fight, they have one common ground: Steve Rogers. That’s their best friend and even if they fight and try to compete with one another, neither wants to hurt Cap. So imagine, if you will, two men who go at it the entire episode, failing a mission because they can’t let the other win and when they realize the problem, Bucky just says to Sam:
I think the way to make a show like this work is realizing that these characters both have heart—that’s why they’re fan favorites. Sure, Sam Wilson always has something to say, but behind that facade is a character who would do anything for those around him or the world at large. Even when Vision is the reason Rhodey falls to his paralysis, Sam is the first one there and willingly takes Tony’s blame without question. Sam has known loss and tragedy in his life and learned to help others grapple with their own.
Bucky, while not a funny characters by any stretch, still has that charming boy from Brooklyn quality to him that he had in the 1940s. He’s coming back, learning how to exist in the real world, and with someone modern and fun like Sam, they can both grow as characters in a fascinating way.
There can be moments of heart and moments that make us cry. So here’s a scene that I could easily see happening and I maybe cried while writing this:
INT. BARN – SMALL TOWN, INDIANA
We see the inside of the barn that is on the land where Sam and Bucky are staying. After their failed mission, Sam can’t seem to find anyone anywhere so he walks in, seeing Bucky standing in front of a punching bag and watching as it swung with each new hit.
Silently, he moves towards Bucky, waiting until he stopped punching to grab the bag and hold it for him. For a second, Bucky just stares at Sam.
Go on then.
Bucky is silent, not moving.
He doesn’t need to be told twice, punching the bag relentlessly for a few moments. Finally, he stops, looking to Sam slightly out of breath.
Don’t have anything to say?
Figured I’d take a note outta your book.
Bucky watches him for a moment as he moves to punch a little harder.
You know, if I punch this with my full force, it’ll blow it to pieces and you’ll go flying across the barn, right?
Listen, Ice Box, I’m being nice. Just punch it and don’t embarrass me.
For the first time, Bucky laughs, shrugging as he resumes his controlled punches.
I know you’re a goddamn super soldier. You and Steve never let me forget it.
We never brought it up.
It’s in the subtext.
Bucky rolls his eyes, punching the bag again.
FADE TO BLACK.
To say that I’m excited about Falcon & Winter Soldier is the understatement of the century. I love these two characters a lot and I will often go into MCU movies knowing they’re going to barely be there. But I don’t care how much screentime they get—I’m just thrilled to see what Sam has to say or what Bucky does to try and remember his past. So the idea of them having a series of their own feels like a gift that can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, Marvel, call me.
If you were writing for the announced Marvel Disney+ shows (Loki, Falcon & Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Hawkeye), whose story would you want to tell? Live your dream with me in the comments.
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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