The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer, Malcolm Spellman, reveals how Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina came to be a part of the series’ story.
Malcolm Spellman, head writer and executive producer of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, has opened up about how Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine came to be a part of the story. The series picks up from the events of Avengers: Endgame as the titular heroes come to grips with the loss of Steve and the retirement of the shield while struggling against personal woes, the reckless new Captain America, and the anti-patriotism group the Flag-Smashers. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Sam Wilson, a.k.a. The Falcon, and James “Bucky” Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier, which they debuted in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier, respectively.
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Premiering on Disney+ in March, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike across its six episodes. On the heels of its success and season finale, a fourth Captain America movie was announced to be in development with Spellman and series staff writer, Dalan Musson, scripting, though it’s currently unclear if it will indeed carry on Sam’s new title as Captain America or introduce a new character in the role. The series also won two trophies at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Hero for Mackie and Best Duo for Mackie and Stan.
In an interview with Everyone Loves a Good Story (via CinemaBlend), head writer Spellman revealed that in the original scripting for the series, they had a blank slate character supporting Wyatt Russell’s John Walker after he’s stripped of his Captain America moniker. During the pre-production, Spellman says it was the studio behind the project who recommended introducing Val in the role instead. See what Spellman had to say below:
That was [Marvel’s] suggestion. We wrote a shady-ass CIA character, and Marvel’s like, ‘It should be Val.’ And one thing I give Marvel credit for, they are fans just like we are. They be knowing certain shit because they geek out. They’re like, ‘Oh man, what if it was Val?’ Then the whole room was like, ‘Oh, fuck! Can we do that? Can we use Val?’ Then they know they got one. But I think that’s why it hit so hard, because she appeared like an Easter egg.
While parts of Phases 1 and 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe might have shown some struggles in finding the right path forward for the franchise, Marvel has consistently shown a strong grip on planning out their projects for the future without losing a grip on the present. Seeing the better opportunity to introduce the character in the series while sitting on the release of Black Widow, Marvel’s decision to bring Val to life in Falcon and the Winter Soldier certainly worked out better for both fans and the MCU than a potentially brief cameo in a film could’ve done. But to hear from Spellman that Marvel was the decider of her introduction in a more collaborative effort rather than a mandate, also shows the far brighter side of the studio that fans have come to expect when supporting their projects.
Whether or not she shows up in the Scarlett Johansson-led Phase 4 outing is still anyone’s guess, but Valentina’s arrival in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is still one of the more exciting things to come from the second Disney+ MCU series. Plus, with multiple people promising there’s a lot more to come from Val in the future, her appearance, or lack thereof, in Black Widow will only be the beginning of a Nick Fury-type espionage character moving forward. Fans can revisit Val’s glorious introduction with all six episodes now available to stream on Disney+.
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