The Spool / Podcasts
Henry Jackman on the musical canvas of “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”
The composer returns to talk about returning to the Marvel Universe and expanding on his themes for the latest Disney+ series.
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Welcome back to the Spool’s weekly interview podcast, More of a Comment, Really…, where editor-in-chief Clint Worthington talks to actors, filmmakers, composers and other figures from the realm of film and television.

When last we spoke to Henry Jackman (for Joe and Anthony Russo’s creaky but sonically-fulfilling Cherry), he relished in the sense of freewheeling experimentation he got to enjoy on such a devil-may-care project. Now, he’s back in the Marvel saddle with Disney+’s six-part limited series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which follows the titular Captain America sidekicks (played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan) as they adjust to life after the Star-Spangled Man with a Plan “retires” after Avengers: Endgame.

Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, rejects the mantle of Cap because he doesn’t feel he can handle the responsibility of representing a nation that doesn’t represent him; Bucky Barnes, meanwhile, is still working through some culture shock after his deprogramming as the Winter Soldier. But the two will have to join forces, mismatched-buddy-cop style, to upend the plans of a mysterious group called the Flagsmashers, and contend with rogue elements like Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and a new government-appointed Captain America played by Wyatt Russell.


Returning to score these characters for the first time since Captain America: Civil War, Jackman brings his usual fanfare and frenetic action scoring to the table, expanding themes he originated in his previous work to a much larger, longer palette. Sam’s theme, formerly a three-note quick motif between action beats, gets its own blues-tinged variation to pay homage to his Louisiana roots; Bucky, meanwhile, gets a softer, more melodic version of the Winter Soldier theme to contrast with the cacophonous shriek that heralded him in his debut feature. And the Captain America theme gets its own complications, now that the man holding the shield is a little less trustworthy than he used to be.

Together, Jackman (now a new dad!) and I talk about all this and more, including the behind-the-scenes challenges (and opportunities) of rescheduling the show in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show’s approach to issues of Blackness in America, and expanding the often-underestimated Marvel musical canvas.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently streaming on Disney+, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Vol. 1 (Episodes 1-3) is available on digital courtesy of Marvel Music, Inc.