‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Creator Malcolm Spellman Says Series Finale Nearly Cemented Bucky Barnes’ Transition To the White Wolf in This Way

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been one of the most popular shows of 2021. Streaming on Disney+, the show aired its season finale on April 23, leaving many Marvel fans speculating on what will come next. 

One of the biggest questions regarding The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the future of Bucky Barnes, who is played by Sebastian Stan. At the conclusion of the season finale, a title card read “Captain America and the Winter Soldier”, which let viewers know that Anthony Mackie was stepping into the role of Captain America. 

However, according to show creator Malcolm Spellman, the title card shown in an unused cut would’ve let viewers know what’s in store for Bucky Barnes.

The closing title card for ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ was almost completely different

Sebastian Stan attends the 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards
Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Bucky Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier| Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Spellman talked about the unseen title card during a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter. According to Spellman, the card was meant to unveil Bucky Barnes’ transition to the White Wolf. 

“I got to see that moniker [White Wolf] in watching one of the cuts, and man, it really affected me emotionally. The reason [the closing title card] still says The Winter Soldier is solely based on Marvel feeling like they needed to keep some of the original title in there to land that feeling. I don’t think it had anything to do with where Bucky is going or how Bucky evolved as a character. I think that they felt like if they went too far away from the original title, you wouldn’t feel the impact of those words. But I’m speculating here.”

He doesn’t want people to read too deeply into the show’s end title 

In a separate interview with ComicBook.com, Spellman expressed a desire for viewers not to read too deeply into the title card they saw. 

“I hope people will forget that end title card as being an indicator of a commitment from Marvel,” Spellman said. “I think he has slayed that dragon, personally, and I don’t think I’ll be in trouble for that. So when Bucky enters the series, he’s never ever shaken what he believes, which is, ‘I remember everyone, murders, which means that part of me was there, which means a part of the Winter Soldier is me.’ And if even a fraction of Winter Soldier is you, you are an awful person. You know what I’m saying?”

Later in the interview, Spellman noted that Bucky Barnes’ complex journey shows that his identity can’t be defined by something as simple as a moniker. 

“That was Bucky’s identity coming in here, loaded with trauma on top of the fact that he doesn’t feel like a citizen of any era,” Spellman explained. “We took him on this journey of trying to find ways to redeem himself and learning that avenging right is not the same thing as redemption. It is not the same thing as sort of a making amends or whatever, right?”