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(Pocket-lint) - The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is now available to watch on Disney+.

The live-action series, which will have a six-episode run, according to Marvel Studios, stars Captain America’s two former sidekicks: Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier). They’re dealing with the fallout from the loss of Cap in Avengers: Endgame and the return of everyone Thano’s snapped in the Blip.

Naturally, you may be thinking about what parts of the MCU might be worth revisiting ahead of the show's premiere. Pocket-lint has, therefore, put our thinking caps on and come up with a list of everything that could be referenced in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Here, then, is a roundup of everything you should watch before diving into Disney+’s next Marvel show.

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What to watch before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

NOTE: Go to the bottom for a bulleted version of this guide to skip any spoilers.

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011 - movie)

The first Captain America film should be the first entry on your watch list.

This movie obviously serves as the introduction point for Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but it also shows Sebastian Stan’s debut as Bucky Barnes. While he doesn’t yet get the title of “The Winter Soldier” in this film, it does provide an origin story for the bond between Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers and Bucky, which is crucial to know. Their shared relationship is a big uniting theme in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

It’s also worth knowing in case Chris Evans makes a cameo in his old Cap getup.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014 - movie)

This film introduces Mackie’s Sam Wilson and shows how Bucky Barnes became the Winter Soldier. He actually serves as one of the antagonists.

It’s also worth mentioning that this film reveals Shield was infiltrated by an evil organization known as Hydra. Sam had a front-row seat to all that, and it might make him a bit more apprehensive to trust the government. The new Disney+ show will try to capture the old school spy-movie tone of this film -- with basically everyone attached referring to it as something of an inspiration for the series.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016 - movie)

Civil War is clearly a must-watch because it gives us our only glimpse into what a Falcon and Winter Soldier team-up would look like. Basically, they’re not friends, they don’t particularly like one another, and Spider-Man beats them both up. It’s also been revealed that Daniel Bruhl will reprise his role as Baron Zemo for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. William Hurt will return, too, as Thadeus Ross for the new Disney+ series.

We expect the two lead characters will find a way to co-exist in the show, but this does set up The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as the MCU’s answer to the buddy-cop genre. We’ll just say it: We’re absolutely here for the Marvel version of Lethal Weapon.

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Black Panther (2018 - movie)

On its surface Black Panther might seem like a random addition to this list, but hear us out: Bucky Barnes has spent a lot of time in Wakanda trying to regain control of his mind, and we see Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa gift him a new vibranium arm in one of this film’s end-credit scenes.

Sam Wilson has also spent quite a bit of time there.

We know the pair of lead characters will face off with the government on some level as well in the new Disney+ series, with the casting of Wyatt Russell as the government’s choice for the next Captain America and the return of William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross. All that just makes us think we could see the two Avengers flee to Wakanda at some point in the series or call on someone like Letitia Wright’s Shuri to help them out of a jam.

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2020 - movie)

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are in both in the most recent Avengers films, but why they’re worth revisiting before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is really more about the world the new series is going to take place in…

The “present-day” in the MCU is currently 202,3 thanks to the five years between Thanos’ snap and the surviving Avengers bringing everyone back. The new Disney+ series represents only our third post-Endgame outing in the MCU, and we expect what’s become known as the Blip will factor in heavily.

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Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018 - movie)

This might seem like another random movie you need to watch before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but an internet sleuth claimed to have spotted the villain of this film during filming for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Atlanta.

That villain is Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen. If you haven’t seen the Ant-Man sequel in a while, her real name is Ava Starr, and she has the power to phase in and out of solid objects following exposure to the Quantum realm by experiments her parents performed.

Shield trained her as an assassin, but it was eventually revealed that her powers were also killing her.

This led the Ant-Man team to send Scott (Paul Rudd) into the Quantum realm to find a cure for Ava, but Thanos did his snap instead. We still don’t know what happened to Ava following the Blip, but it’d make sense for her to show up.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019 - movie)

Far From Home takes place eight months after the Avengers brought everyone back. We aren’t sure where exactly The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will be set in the MCU, but there are questions in Far From Home that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier could answer.

The biggest of which involves one of the end-credits scenes from the sequel.

It’s revealed that Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury is actually floating through space, and the person we thought was him throughout the entire film is actually Talos, the shape-shifting Skrull from Captain Marvel. Maybe we will learn when these two switched and, more importantly, why.

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Optional: WandaVision (2021 - Disney+ series)

So, it’s too early to say if WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are going to be super connected to one another. There are small things that might be carried across the two series; like, we could learn more about the new Sword organization that responded to The Hex in WandaVision.

The biggest thing we can learn from WandaVision is what to expect from Disney+ MCU content as opposed to the television series offerings from Marvel in the past. Netflix series like Daredevil and The Punisher were big on mentioning the events of the MCU films, but that was about it.

Those series were carefully done to keep them separate from the events of MCU films. Those days are done, as Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige has confirmed that WandaVision will lead directly into the film Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness.


Spoiler-free version: What to watch before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

This is the same guide as above, only bulleted in list form and free of spoilers:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011 - movie)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014 - movie)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016 - movie)
  • Black Panther (2018 - movie)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018 - movie)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2020 - movie)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018 - movie)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019- movie)
  • Optional: WandaVision (2021 - Disney+ series)

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Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 25 February 2021.