‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ Will Be Shorter Than Other Marvel TV Shows

Marvel has started filming its first live action TV series for Disney+ called The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, about those characters carrying on in the shadow of the departed Captain America — and some fans may be surprised that the series is rather short. 

In other words, this will be a limited series and not designed to run for more than one year – which begs the question if the other upcoming Marvel shows will have limited runs too. 

How long will ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ run?

Disney+ logo on a TV screen
Disney+ | Chesnot/Getty Images

Screen Rant reports that the series will have six hour-long episodes, and that one that’s done, that’s it for the show. It’s not expected to last beyond those six shows. In effect, it will be like making three movies to lead into future Marvel movies. 

Fans will recall from Avengers: Endgame that Sam and Bucky were resurrected from Thanos’ snap, with Sam giving the signal “On your left” when all the other snapped heroes returned.

That was a callback to the very beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Steve Rogers sprinted past Sam repeatedly, calling out “on your left.”

The show will find Bucky and Sam figuring out how to carry on after Steve Rogers passed his shield to Sam. However, that turns out to be easier said than done, as the government does not want Sam to become the next Captain America.

Meanwhile, friends and foes alike return, including Sharon Carter, played by Emily VanCamp, and Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl. 

The series will premiere in the fall of 2020.

Will this be a pattern with the other Disney+ shows?

So having set this template, will the other upcoming Marvel shows also be limited? Maybe, but probably not.  Loki, which answers the question of where Thor’s errant half-brother went after poofing out of Endgame, could conceivably carry on for more than one season, as could Hawkeye, as that series will most likely spawn characters who could take Hawkeye’s place. 

However, these most likely won’t be shows like Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil or Jessica Jones, that offered continuing storylines over more than one year. These will come in, tell the story in a half-dozen episodes, and then get out.

What makes it seem all the more likely that Disney+ shows won’t run for more than a year is because they’re expensive, costing about $25 million per episode, according to Business Insider.

Even The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series, is cheaper, at $15 million per show. By way of comparison, the Netflix Marvel shows like Jessica Jones cost about $4 million per episode. 

Consider WandaVision, a show that even its creators have a hard-time describing. It’s a superhero sitcom in the style of Leave it to Beaver? That doesn’t seem like a concept Marvel can sustain over more than one season without straining credibility.

It is also well known that WandaVision will lead directly into Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Is it really necessary to see the MCU shows to understand the movies?

Marvel has made it sound like you’ll have to watch WandaVision to understand what’s going on with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. And of course they would say that, because they’re trying to drive subscribers to Disney+ — and it’s working. The brand new streamer signed up a more than impressive 10 million users in its first day alone. 

However, Forbes movie analyst Scott Mendelson contends that subscribing to Disney+ won’t be absolutely necessary to understand the new movies. He points out that even if you don’t understand every story point, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to follow the movie.

Arguably, you really only need to see Infinity War to understand Endgame, for example. 

“As much as Disney wants Disney+ to succeed, they aren’t going to risk sabotaging their biggest theatrical IP. 

Contrary to popular belief, at least popular entertainment media belief, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is only as interconnected as your average longform television show,” Mendelson said.