With the latest installment of Marvel’s Captain America franchise set to hit theaters on May 6, superhero fanatics are wondering what’s going to happen to Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans), his team, and his frenemy Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) next. I sat down with Stan while he was promoting his latest film, The Bronze, and asked about the fate of Captain America: Civil War’s favorite heroes.
One theory is that Steve Rodgers could come to his final end in the not so distant future, leaving an opening for a new team leader. After all, Chris Evans’ contract is almost up, and that leaves the Avengers without a captain. Could Bucky, Cap’s righthand man, ever step into those shiny red boots?
“I don’t know how I would say no to that,” Stan says. “I mean, it’s such a tough question because it’s so not up to me. I’d love to see it one day. There’s a lot in the comic books that still need to be explored. I think it would be an amazing, interesting, challenging thing to want to explore as an actor.”
So what could prevent Bucky from becoming the next Cap? Well, there are a lot of pieces at play, and according to Stan, the fans are a driving force behind the decision Marvel makes for it’s onscreen characters.
“So much depends on the powers that be and a lot on the fans — what the fans want to see and what they’re ready for. I think audiences are really powerful and extremely smart. They are ahead of us in a lot of ways. So they are much more a part of decisions than they might think.”
While we know Stan is up for the challenge — is Bucky?
“It would be a tremendous responsibility for him to step into those shoes as a character. I’ll say this: I think before that happens, Bucky’s gotta get a hell of a lot healthier than he is right now. And he ain’t that great. To be seen!”
I’ll let Marvel megafans debate what Stan means when he refers to Bucky’s (mental? Physical?) health, and if there is indeed a real possibility of Bucky taking on a much larger leadership role in Marvel films to come.
“For now, I’m having an amazing time doing what I’m doing. I’m very happy with the situation,” Stan concludes.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6.
Last May, a group of fellow reporters and I got to visit the set of Civil War and speak with Evans and Stan. During our conversation, they talked about Bucky’s psychological state and struggling with the guilt over the things he did as the Winter Soldier, putting Steve into a new, difficult position, how both characters dealing with being “men out of time,” and more. Read the full interview below.
Sebastian, the screenwriters mentioned Bucky’s journey as someone who has to wrestle with doing 70 years of doing evil. Can you talk a bit about your character’s journey in this film and how his separation works as opposed to Cap’s just being on ice.
SEBASTIAN STAN: I think it would be similar to what [Cap] went through. Where we find the character is really where he’s at the post-credits scene at the end of Winter Soldier. So that’s where he picks up in this film. It very much is a big struggle, figuring out what his life has been about and what he’s really been up to. That’s what I think the similarity between them is. They’re men out of time, struggling to embrace this new life, and how do they do it.
Can you speak a little more as to where he’s at when we pick up with him? Is he a loner sort of drifting?
SEBASTIAN STAN: I’ll say this. Whatever notions you had about that post-credits scene where you see him in the museum and obviously he’s staring at himself, whatever ideas you got from that scene, keep thinking about those and go with your own thoughts on that.
Where is Cap when we pick up in this movie?
EVANS: He’s still on the search for Bucky. That’s the thing about these movies. You go do The Avengers, you gotta put your own plot on hiatus for a second, and then we try to pick up where we left off. A big piece of that is searching for Bucky. But at the same time, we left off The Avengers [Age of Ultron] with a new team of Avengers. So they’re still trying to break in the new members. And I think it’s no secret that what happens is there’s a world around them that expects a little bit more responsibility for their actions. The Avengers have been operating independent of any government restriction, so I think there’s plenty of people that makes nervous. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying what happens is certain governments expect a bit of a change.
STAN: That’s why it’s kinda cool, since it parallels a lot of the things we’re dealing with now. Thinking about all the recent stuff about the government being able to look into your phone, to see what you’re texting or who you’re calling.
EVANS: Don’t look into my phone. Career over.
STAN: It’s very relevant. That’s where the Russos have been great, because the movie will be relevant to things that are happening today, that you read in the news.
The very title of Captain America: Civil War lends itself to the notion of friends vs. friends, but it’s a real doozy when Team Cap battles Team Iron Man in the new film (out May 6). Alliances shift, bad feelings are had, and you have awesome moments like the one in the first Civil War trailer where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Cap, and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), aka Cap’s childhood friend Bucky Barnes and former brainwashed Hydra assassin, throw down with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
Two against one may not be fair, but it’s sure fun to watch — and enjoyable to play, says Stan:
“It’s one of those days where the equivalent would be that scene in Apollo 13 when the astronauts come back and they’ve survived reentry to Earth and you cut to mission control and everyone’s like ‘Yeah!’ “
He admits that the scene, which had to be done in one take and involved well-choreographed fighting moves plus a bunch of shield sharing, took them just about 15 times to get right. Plus, there were times when Evans and Stan would be going through the scene without having Iron Man there at all just in case there needed to be CGI effects added in later. “Then you’re just fighting air, which is even more difficult.”
Stan’s looking forward to fans seeing Steve and Bucky — or as the Internet likes to call them, #Stucky — fighting side by side again with the added emotional layers of having to beat down Cap’s other friend from the Avengers.
“This is how I would look at it: It’s three people and they’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean, the boat is sinking and the boat may stay afloat with one less person on it. So who has to go? It’s inevitable at that point because blood will always win in the end, and (Steve and Bucky) are really like blood brothers.”