The Falcon and the Winter Soldier bosses on the Sharon Carter reveal and what could be in store
Marvel producers Nate Moore and Zoie Nagelhout explain Sharon's journey and what they hope is next for her.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the sixth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Before director Kari Skogland got into the same room with her lead writer, Malcolm Spellman, to craft the story arc for season 1 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, they already knew a few things were going to be in it. One was the return of Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo. Another was the introduction of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. (They didn't know at the time that role would end up going to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but they knew to include the character.) A third, and one of the more significant preselected elements for the series, was Sharon Carter as the Power Broker.
All season long, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) heard rumblings of the Power Broker, an elusive figure based out of criminal central in the city of Madripoor who was after the Flag-Smashers for stealing his supply of the super-soldier serum. Well, we thought they were a "he," but the series finale revealed that Sharon, played by the returning Emily VanCamp, was that shadowy threat.
Executive producer Nate Moore, who spearheaded development on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier at Marvel Studios with fellow EP Zoie Nagelhout, said it felt like an organic move. When last we saw Sharon in Captain America: Civil War, she swiped Steve Rogers' shield and Sam's Falcon wings, but doing so meant she had to go on the run from the government she served for years. "You go, 'What would happen to that character?'" Moore tells EW.
An inspiration came from "a '90s Captain America comic where Sharon had been left out in the cold by S.H.I.E.L.D. for years," he continues. "And she came back super-salty."
Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, as well as screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, tried at various times to incorporate Sharon into the movies. Moore notes that there were "obviously so many characters already that there wasn't enough room." When talks around developing Marvel projects for Disney+ came about, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier concept also felt like it was "becoming the story of Sharon Carter."
To put it more bluntly, Spellman says, "Sharon has been f---ed by all the institutions that she worked for, that protected her. They completely abandoned her and, in fact, were going after her. They put her in an awful position. We knew we could either be fake and say she's just been hiding out, or we could say Sharon, who had a very youthful quality to her, grew up because of what these people did to her and the position they forced her in."
Mapping out the story for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Spellman knew Sharon would be "much edgier," but he workshopped how dark to make her character. "That was just based on us having conversations about, what did she have to do to survive?" he says.
Holding on to Sharon's secret identity in the plot of the show involved work in the edit room, Skogland mentions: "We had to decide where to unfurl that, and we played around with all the different places of it. We tried a few things before we landed to where that was."
In the finale, Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman), head of the Flag-Smashers, flees after her group attacks the Global Repatriation Council vote. She's confronted by a gun-wielding Sharon, who is revealed to the audience to be the Power Broker. She mentions how much promise she first saw in Karli when she came to Madripoor. When Sam, now as the new Captain America, comes upon them, Sharon maintains her cover but fatally shoots Karli.
A mid-credits scene further reveals that Sam came through on an earlier promise to secure a pardon for Sharon from the U.S. government. Not only that, but a government official says Sharon could get her old job back. Sharon then makes a call to someone the audience can't hear and says they now have access to all sorts of government secrets and tech to sell to the highest bidders.
Nagelhout confirms it's certainly the hope to expand Power Broker Sharon into a larger role in the MCU. In Captain America 4, perhaps? Moore says they don't comment on "rumors." (EW independently confirmed a Hollywood Reporter article about Spellman developing a fourth Captain America movie. Spellman declined to comment when asked by EW, and reps for Disney and Marvel didn't respond to requests for comment.) In season 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? (Or is it Captain America and the Winter Soldier?) We'll see.
"I really hope so," Nagelhout says. "I think she's such an interesting character. It felt like, in a story where we're dissecting the shield and that legacy, to have a character come in with a point of view that has changed… that has created a very interesting duality in her. I don't think she's all bad, I don't think she's all good. I think she lives in a middle ground that is really compelling. To get to explore that character further and what shades of gray she might drift between could be really interesting."
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier