The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continued the trend of the MCU’s Disney+ shows putting side characters into the spotlight. The strong cast of this show, headlined by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, proved these characters could carry their own story all along.
With several returning characters getting more time to shine, the show also introduced new characters with some exciting actors being added to the MCU roster. But imagining the show was made in the 1990s, which of the actors of the era would have helped bring The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to life?
10 Val: Candice Bergen
One of the biggest surprises of the show was seeing Emmy-winning icon Julia Louis-Dreyfus showing up as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, or Val. Louis-Dreyfus was perfect as the powerful, sarcastic, and scheming mystery woman who comes to recruit John Walker to her covert team.
Like Louis-Dreyfus, Candice Bergen is a television icon who, in the 90s, was starring in the acclaimed series Murphy Brown. Bergen has that fierce quality where she can boss around everyone and still be likable while also adding a comedic touch to her toughness.
9 Sharon Carter: Sarah Polley
Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) is another MCU character who returns in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier though in a very surprising way. She is reintroduced once again helping Sam and Bucky while on the run, but it was later revealed that she is actually the villainous Power Broker.
Sarah Polley is now known as an acclaimed filmmaker, but she was one of the most exciting actors in the 90s. She has an alluring quality about her but is also willing to show her darker side in movies like Go.
8 Joaquin Torres: John Leguizamo
Though casual Marvel fans might not know Joaquin Torres, he could have a role in the MCU going forward. Danny Ramirez made the most of this smaller role by giving Torres a lot of personality as a funny and enthusiastic ally to Sam.
John Leguizamo is another actor who made a name for himself in the 90s with a variety of projects. He always injected his roles with high energy and a great sense of humor that allowed him to stand out even in large ensembles.
7 Sarah Wilson: Theresa Randle
The show gave fans got a glimpse of Sam’s home life, including his struggles with his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye). While Sam was the superhero who flew around saving the day, Sarah was the more grounded sibling who had to remind Sam of how the real world works.
Theresa Randle appeared in a number of big movies in the 90s, from Bad Boys to Spawn. She often played the wife or girlfriend but brought real sincerity and strength to these under-written roles. She was able to bring things back down to Earth, even in action and superhero movies.
6 Isaiah Bradley: Sidney Poitier
As soon as he was introduced, fans were eager to learn more about Isaiah Bradley and his tragic backstory. Carl Lumby brought so much power and gravitas to the role, delivering one of the best performances in the show.
Sidney Poitier is an acting legend and the thought of him starring in a superhero story is pretty cool. With iconic performances like In the Heat of the Night, there is no doubt Poitier could have brought the kind of strong yet sad power to the character of Bradley.
5 Baron Zemo: Peter Stormare
After being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Zemo was the perfect MCU villain to bring back for this show. Daniel Brühl was able to do a lot more with the character this time around, adding charm and humor to Zemo’s chilling intelligence.
Peter Stormare was one of the go-to villains of action movies in the 90s, most famously with Fargo. He is another actor who can bring a lot of range to a villain, finding different areas to play with. He has been both hilarious and outrageous as well as simply terrifying.
4 Karli Morgenthau: Thandiwe Newton
As the leader of the Flag-Smashers, Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) seemed to be a villain but was actually much more complicated. The young woman was strengthened by the super-soldier serum to carry out her mission to save the world. But while some of her ideas were justified, she was young and naïve in carrying them out.
Thandiwe Newton is now starring in big projects like Westworld, but she was already impressing people in the 90s with early roles like Flirting. Newton could have brought the necessary youthful innocence at this time while also showcasing the strength she is known for in her performances.
3 John Walker: Matt Damon
John Walker (Wyatt Russell) was perhaps the most interesting character on the show and an intriguing new addition to the future of the MCU. Walker was meant to seem like an ideal replacement for Captain America, but his dark side eventually came through turning him into a pseudo-villain.
Matt Damon was becoming a big star in the 90s with Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan. He was good at playing those wholesome heroes everyone roots for, but he also has a talent for playing arrogant and entitled villains throughout his career.
2 Bucky Barnes: Keanu Reeves
Bucky Barnes is one of the most tragic characters in the MCU but the show gave him an opportunity to grow as a hero. Sebastian Stan was very effective at depicting the struggles of Bucky without needing a lot of dialogue and helped cement Bucky as much more than Steve Roger’s buddy.
Keanu Reeves was perhaps the best action star of the 90s with movies like Speed and The Matrix. Reeves also excels at playing the strong silent type of heroes who often have a dark edge to them.
1 Sam Wilson: Will Smith
Sam Wilson really established himself as a big name in the MCU in this series. Sam was seen to be every bit as noble, brave, and inspiring as Steve Rogers. He also was charismatic, making audiences excited for the future once he was named as the new Captain America.
Will Smith was already becoming the biggest movie star in the world in the 90s and he would have fit this role wonderfully. Smith can play those good-hearted heroes so well while still bringing a fun energy to them. Also, it seems like he would be a great fit for the Captain America costume.
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