'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' may bring back a terrifying Phase 3 villain

She would be the perfect foil to the Bucky Barnes.

Marvel Studios

Recent set leaks for Falcon and the Winter Soldier may have just indicated that one of the coolest Phase Three villains from the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be included in the upcoming Disney+ series.

In a Thursday tweet that has since been deleted, paparazzi account @AtlantaFilming dropped a series of hints at what they’d seen from the set of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Someone shared the tweets on the r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers subreddit, and not long after that, all the tweets were deleted. Together, they indicate that a number of surprising characters will be included in the series, chief among them Ghost, the villain-turned-ally from Ant-Man and the Wasp.

The particular tweet in question is worded in a somewhat confusing manner, but @AtlantaFilming recounts their surprise seeing Crossbones on the set of Captain America: Civil War. They mention filming someone very surprising on the set of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but they also reference filming Ghost in the same sentence. Is @AtlantaFilming talking about also shooting footage from the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp, or was all of this on the same day?

For Ghost to appear in Falcon and the Winter Soldier would be a great choice, mainly because she’s an excellent match for the Winter Soldier — and maybe even a love interest? Ghost (real name: Ava Starr) is a super-powered assassin who can phase through solid matter, rendering her difficult to fight directly, even if you have the super strength and speed of the Winter Soldier.

An accident when she was a child exposed her to an extreme amount of radiation from the Quantum Realm, causing her individual cells to constantly separate and reunite. This accounts for her phasing ability but also causes the extreme pain that she experiences as a result. Ghost is constantly and involuntarily harnessing Quantum Energy and because she can’t access more of it, so her powers are gradually killing her in Ant-Man and the Wasp. S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited Ava and gave her a containment suit that allowed her to channel her powers, so she became a stealth operative and assassin.

Essentially, her story is remarkably similar to Bucky Barnes in that they were both taken by a shadowy organization and forced into doing their dirty work. For the Winter Soldier, that was Hydra directly, but for Ghost it was seemingly S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was, of course, controlled by Hydra for a long stretch of time).

Ava Starr, aka Ghost, would be a perfect addition to 'Falcon and the Winter Soldier'.

Marvel Studios

A dose from Janet van Dyne at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp helped Ava temporarily, but Team Ant-Man sent Scott into the Quantum Realm in the film’s post-credits scene to get the Quantum Healing Particles needed to help Ghost — and that’s when Thanos’ Snap happened. Did Ava’s powers destabilize and kill her within the five years that followed? Or was she dusted along with trillions of others only to return at the end of Endgame? All of this remains unclear, but Ghost presents an interesting foil to Winter Soldier.

“When it comes to this Quantum Healing Research, it’s safe to assume that it might have a wider application,” Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed told Inverse in an interview shortly after the film’s release, “But it’s mostly focused on Ghost’s situation, for now.”

What’s more: In an interview with Yahoo Movies UK in August 2019, actress Hannah John-Kamen hinted that Ghost was still alive.

“In the MCU, you have to sign your contract with blood and they stitch your mouth together,” she said. “All I can say is that Ghost didn’t die.”

All signs are pointing to the strong possibility that even if it’s not Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Ghost will return to the MCU one day soon.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier is expected to release on Disney+ by the end of 2020.