The Falcon will be making his first big screen appearance via Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The "Red Wing" will be played by Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) and will be portrayed as a S.H.I.E.L.D. tactician who helps Chris Evans do superhero things.
In describing his role alongside Evans, Mackie stated in a recent interview:
The Falcon and the way in which they are introducing him now is more of the later version of him. He’s more of a military operative soldier and even in the comic books as well of the film he and Captain America form a bond that’s not like a work bond like Batman and Robin is more of a friendship, a camaraderie and a lot of it has to do with their military background which all military people will understand and agree with and they even say in the comic book. He’s more so of Cap’s friend than he is his servant or his coworker.
This is all to say that we're not getting much of an origin story for the character, and the idea of him being a hero with "powers" is becoming less likely.
See in the comics, Falcon's origin story is that he receives the power to communicate with birds thanks to the Cosmic Cube (Tesseract as they call it in the movies), but he never would have access to it before the events of Winter Soldier. That's led many to the assumption that he will simply be a military soldier with awesome wings, which works actually.
So, how will he fare alongside Captain America?
One of the first black superheroes to appear in mainstream comics (aside from Black Panther), it makes perfect sense for Falcon to debut alongside Captain America as he did in the comics, but many like me are anticipating a missed opportunity with his character.
See, Black Widow and Hawkeye were fun in their own right, but they couldn't help but be overshadowed by their blockbuster teammates. It was necessary and few of us are bitter about it, but I'm finding it tiresome to see great characters be underserved.
I hope I'm wrong and this is actually the beginning of some kind of "Secret Avengers" crossover. The Secret Avengers (Heroic Age not Civil War, though that could be fun too...) are a black ops group led by Captain America (here, he's just Steve Rogers), Black Widow and Moon Knight, among others.
A Secret Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D./spy tone is actually the best direction for Captain America's big screen story in my opinion, since he's essentially a soldier, not an over-the-top superhero like the others. The espionage of Captain America is what makes him unique.
That said, this version of Falcon that is a little more "spy" than bird psychic fits into that strategy much better.
At any rate, having Falcon in a Marvel movie at all is something to be grateful for, but Mackie himself has stated that he doesn't know whether or not he'll be in the Avengers sequel.
But if he is, there are fun connections many of us fans want to see nods to, such as Mackie and Renner (Hawkeye) sharing the screen together like they did in The Hurt Locker, which is also interesting when you notice that the two are bird-themed characters. Coincidence? Nah, it's probably just a conspiracy.
Even if Falcon is sent to the Marvel sidelines, there's still hope that we can see him in ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starring alongside Coulson, because why not?
So, a few questions:
1. Do you think the Falcon will have powers?
2. Will we ever see the Red Skull again?
3. Are Falcon and Hawkeye Hollywood's next high-profile bromance?