[UPDATE: It’s confirmed – Frank Grillo will portray Crossbones in Captain America 2.]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still in pre-production, which means major casting decisions are ongoing (e.g. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is being considered for Sharon Carter and Josh Holloway is up for an undisclosed role that may or may not be Quasar).

Now comes word that a new villain – besides the brainwashed cyborg assassin Bucky Barnes, A.K.A. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) – might be in the mix for the sequel. According to tweets from actor Frank Grillo (The Grey) and radio show host Matthew Aaron, Grillo recently auditioned for the role of the villainous Crossbones.

For those unaware, Crossbones – A.K.A. Brock Rumlow – is a Marvel villain dating back to the late 1980s, where he led a gang of delinquent youths on the Lower East Side of New York City. After brutalizing a fifteen-year-old girl, he was attacked by her brothers, one of whom was killed in the fray. Soon thereafter, he joined Taskmaster’s criminal academy and eventually became one of his finest pupils.

Crossbones Art by Declan Shalvey

In the comic books, Crossbones is probably best known for his role in the “assassination” of Captain America following the Marvel Civil War. Initially, it was believed that Crossbones was responsible for Cap’s “death” – The Falcon and Bucky Barnes even chased him down and beat him senseless – but it was ultimately revealed that he only managed to shoot Cap in the shoulder, while the “killing blow” was struck by a hypnotized Sharon Carter.

(I keep using quotes for things like “death” and “killing blow” because Captain America didn’t actually die in the comic – rather, he was merely bouncing back and forth through space and time, reliving different moments from his own life. Ahh, comic books.)

Now, here are Frank Grillo’s tweets (since deleted) referring to what seems to be a Captain America 2 screen test, courtesy of Comic Book Movie:

See Ya LA. It was a good trip. Marvel was a lot of fun. Be cool if it works out. #CaptainAmerica.

And:

WOW. Badass fans that Marvel has. Fierce muthas. #bones

Be cool if what works out?

Though there’s nothing even a little bit definitive in these tweets – and #bones is the name of a Fox TV procedural, not a Captain America villain – it’s pretty obvious what he’s referring to here. Grillo even retweeted CBM’s story regarding his own tweets (if that’s not an official confirmation, I don’t know what is).

However, if your’e still on the fence, here’s Matthew Aaron’s tweet from a couple days prior:

Once again, just wanted to tell you and I’ll be talking about it all week… Frank Grillo has tested for Crossbone in the new Marvel movies.

He probably meant Crossbones.

So there you have it. It seems all but guaranteed that Frank Grillo screen-tested for the role of Crossbones in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Obviously, that doesn’t mean he has the part yet, nor that he’ll be getting it – in fact, it’s hard to imagine tweeting secrets about an upcoming blockbuster is going to clinch the deal. Still, Grillo has proven in films like The Grey that he can play a New York tough guy with the best of them, so maybe Marvel won’t care.

[Update: According to Variety, Frank Grillo has officially been cast as the villainous Crossbones.]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie – hits theaters April 4th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Comic Book Movie & Variety