Disney’s Censored ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Scenes Are Going to Be Restored
Disney+ hit TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has roared back into the public eye long after its March 19, 2021 premiere. Fans noticed some obvious changes to the show, mainly centering around violence. But Disney claims the entire situation was one big misunderstanding.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV shows have veered into more adult territory, but rarely in the mainline canon of the Disney-produced shows. Even the uncensored version of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier pales in comparison to the violence seen in the Netflix original take on Daredevil. So what gives? Is Disney putting a tighter leash on their Marvel output, or was this really the misunderstanding they claim?
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ doesn’t shy away from controversial material
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is the bridge between Avengers: Endgame and the upcoming fourth Captain America film. It finds Anthony Mackie‘s Sam Wilson struggling with the fallout of Steve Rogers selecting him to be the next Captain America. Rather than simply dropping Wilson into the role, it maps out how he comes to terms with inheriting the mantle.
He does so with the support — and challenges posed by — one Bucky Barnes, also known as The Winter Soldier. But the pair are preempted by the U.S. government jumping the gun and announcing their own Captain America, John Walker. That unravels into a plot that exposes dark truths about the super soldier serum that created Captain America, including a black man who suffered from early tests of the body-altering substance.
Disney uploaded several changes to certain violence scenes that fans instantly noticed
Like the comic books that inspired these plotlines, violence is inherent to the proceedings. Captain America started off with a shocking, culturally indelible first appearance, according to the New York Times. Nine months before the United States actually entered World War II, two Jewish Americans wrote and drew this comic book with one Adolf Hitler receiving a punch to the mouth.
That goes double for the modern storylines that the series heavily lifts from. Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting provided much of the framework for how the Falcon and the Winter Soldier are portrayed in the movies and this series. While their run wasn’t overtly gory, it is packed with brutal fights and a few shootings — with blood.
That tone was brought over to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Again, it’s not over-the-top violence, but Screenrant reports that a couple scenes received heavy edits on the streaming version of the show. Blood was removed, and violence toned down, in one episode. These changes were reverted shortly after they were discovered. But what does this mean for the future of Marvel’s action-heavy content on Disney+’s streaming platform?
Does the existence of an alternate cut bode well for future Disney+ content?
Viewers found that two scenes had been edited without warning. The first involved the Baron Zemo shooting a Hydra scientist who falls to the ground, with blood around his body and dripping from his mouth. The new version removed this, according to IGN.
Later in the same episode, Bucky throws a pipe so hard at an enemy soldier that it embeds itself in the poor henchman’s body. The edited version has the pipe bouncing off, doing a bit of blunt damage before falling to the ground.
Both edits were not intended to be uploaded. Apparently, there was an edit to the credits on that episode. But Disney applied said edits to an alternate cut of the episode. This has already been corrected.
But these are clearly finished, effects-ready scenes. They imply that Disney has this version in the vault, ready to go when needed. Is this type of editing the future for past and present Marvel shows that include violence, from Daredevil to Moon Knight? Or does this imply that Disney will match sanitized versions of these shows to a parental control feature? So far, Disney hasn’t elaborated. But fans of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will have the original edit to continue enjoying — for the time being.