'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' leak reveals an unexpected X-Men connection

Mutants could be coming to the MCU way sooner than you think.

20th Century Fox

Filming is currently underway for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and details about the series and its plot have been leaking out at a steady drip. However, recent set photos may reveal that Marvel’s first Disney+ show could bring us to a fictional location with a major connection to the X-Men. Let’s dissect.

Possible spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier below.

Ever since Disney bought 20th Century Fox — obtaining the rights to Marvel properties like Deadpool and the X-Men movies — fans have speculated that Phase Four would finally introduce the beloved mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fan theories have varied, suggesting that WandaVision would somehow work in the X-Men’s House of M storyline or that The Eternals would lay the groundwork for the X-Men’s entry into the MCU.

Now, photos from the set of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier offer the first concrete clue that the X-Men might be featured in the MCU, and way sooner than we thought. In the photos, a distinct emblem is seen adorning a garden wall. It looks exactly like the flag of the fictional island of Madripoor, which includes a red crescent moon and a lion’s head with a star above it. Take a look at the set photos below.

In the comics, Madripoor is a fictional Southeast Asian island near Singapore. It was first introduced in the X-Men comic New Mutants #32 and has been an important location ever since, heavily featured throughout the Wolverine comics, Uncanny X-Force, and others. At one point, the island was overtaken by HYDRA, which used Madripoor to funnel money to terrorist organizations across the world.

However, the island is probably most notable for housing a version of Charles Xavier’s X-Mansion, which served as a base of operations for both Magneto and the X-Men in 2017’s X-Men Blue. In this storyline, the X-Men are time-displaced and Magneto is trying to help send them back to their rightful timeline. As Avengers: Endgame proved, the MCU also likes time travel, so make of that what you will.

Madripoor as seen in 'X-Women #1'. 

Marvel Comics

Beyond being the first real clue at the X-Men’s possible introduction and connection to the MCU, it’s unclear how Madripoor could factor into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s definitely possible that part of the MCU series will take place there, or that someone from the island has made their way to the U.S., crossing paths with Sam and Bucky. We also know that Baron Zemo is back, so perhaps the villain has connections to Madripoor or, like in the comics, is receiving money through HYDRA to fund his latest plans.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will likely explore the world after the events of Endgame and, with the introduction of Captain America’s government-controlled replacement with U.S. Agent and a possible propaganda campaign meant to prop up this unworthy successor, Madripoor’s inclusion is suspicious at best.

Does this mean Wolverine will show up on Disney+ later this year? Probably not, but we wouldn’t rule it out either. At the very least, it’s a sign of how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will change and expand in Phase Four and beyond.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere on Disney+ in the fall of 2020.