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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will spearhead the future of Marvel.

It’s a brave new Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Avengers: Endgame in the rearview, fans know as little about the series’ future as they did in Phase 1. Indeed, Phase 4 serves as a new beginning, with many new and supporting characters rising to fill the void left by the original Avengers.

But what truly makes Phase 4 feel so unpredictable is the addition of several Disney+ series to the fold. The first of these, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will continue the story of the Captain America films. Yet according to a new report, it could also feature the return of Asgard’s favorite troublemaker.

Tom Hiddleston at the San Diego Comic-Con International
Tom Hiddleston at the San Diego Comic-Con International | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Marvel Studios has a ton of Disney+ shows on the way

Marvel Studios has an entire branch of Disney+ shows on the way. The roster of shows in the works will introduce new characters, including She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel. But before Marvel delves into such ambitious territory, it’s giving fans more of the heroes they know and love.

In 2020 and 2021, four Marvel shows are scheduled to hit Disney+. Each is headlined by one or two popular characters. And Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige assures fans the shows will impact the movies in surprising ways. For instance, WandaVision — set for late 2020 — is expected to dovetail into 2021’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

But we still don’t know what, if any, connection the Disney+ shows will have to each other. Given that each Phase 4 series picks up a separate thread from Avengers: Endgame, few fans probably expected them to intersect much. Up until now, the focus has been mostly on tapping into supporting players from past films.

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ will feature multiple villains

As the first Marvel Studios show coming to Disney+, we’ve learned the most about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That show, of course, stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as the title characters: Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, respectively. Because its two leads hail from the Captain America franchise, fans expect the series to follow Mackie’s Sam Wilson as he becomes the new Cap.

Likewise, the supporting cast has mostly stemmed from previous Cap adventures. Yes, newcomer Wyatt Russell joins the show as John Walker aka U.S. Agent, whom the United States government positions as its Cap stand-in. But the other main players are Daniel Brühl and Emily VanCamp. Their characters — Helmut Zemo and Sharon Carter — played integral roles in Steve Rogers’ story.

An unconfirmed report claims those two actors aren’t the only familiar faces from the Captain America trilogy to pop up. According to The Weekly Planet podcast, Georges St-Pierre could be reprising his role of Batroc the Leaper from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Early in that film, Batroc has an intense hand-to-hand battle with Cap and is ultimately defeated.

Could Tom Hiddleston’s Loki cross paths with the new Cap?

Speaking of MCU villains past, one of the series’ most popular ones might be coming over to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. If leaked set photos are correct, then Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will be showing up to create trouble for the heroes. In The Avengers, Loki only briefly goes toe-to-toe with Steve Rogers’ Cap. Moreover, he never crosses paths with Sam or Bucky. So there’s not much of a relationship to build on there.

Then again, this blurry photo isn’t exactly a press release announcing Hiddleston’s role. So there’s an excellent chance this isn’t the actor at all in the scene. But if it is, we can only imagine his appearance is brief. As we know, Loki has his own Disney+ series on the way. Following the version of Loki who escaped in Avengers: Endgame, the show will follow the god of mischief as he does what he does best: create trouble.

With an anticipated release in 2021, Loki could be set up on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with a brief guest or cameo appearance by Hiddleston. Now that Loki has the Tesseract, the sky’s the limit as far as what he’s capable of doing. We’re not sure whether the upcoming Marvel Studios shows will connect in such a way. But it sure has worked for the movies thus far. So it wouldn’t surprise us at this point.