Frank Grillo Cast as Crossbones in ‘Captain America 2′ [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 2:02 pm,

Frank Grillo Up for Crossbones in Captain America 2 Frank Grillo Cast as Crossbones in Captain America 2 [Updated]

[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 Frank Grillo Cast as Crossbones in Captain America 2 [Updated]

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.


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).

Frank Grillo as Crossbones in Captain America 2 Frank Grillo Cast as Crossbones in Captain America 2 [Updated]

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

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  1. If crossbones is indeed going 2 be in captain America (the winter soldier) then I wonder if the red skull’s daughter sin will be involved? That would be sick! I don’t watch CSI, but how about that chick with the black hair that I believe is the lab technician (sorry don’t know her real name) 2 be cast for that part?

    • Do you mean Abby from NCIS?

      • Yep!

    • in would be cooland logical esp if red skull isnt coming back.

  2. How many people are in this movie??! Lol lot of people for some comedy directors.

  3. just a bit concerning…

    obviously Falcon and Crossbones would be among the first characters to bring into the fold for a Cap movie, but it already feels like they are jamming in a few too many characters for one solo film…

    conversely, if this was a black panther casting rumor, i would be very stoked haha!

    • I hear this complaint all the time and it puzzles me. Who do you want to be in the movie? Non-comic characters? These are movies based of comic books. These comic books have characters besides the main. They are using these characters in the movies. Im still confused.

      • @Alpine you do have a good point, but I am a little concerned about them using too many characters. I do believe my concern is based on the director’s credibility, for these guys haven’t really proven themselves in such a large scale. I am in the other hand hopeful they will do just fine and the movie will be a great one, as with when Joss Whedon was given the director’s role for the Avengers, so many people were skeptical about his abilities to handle such a huge franchise and were quick to point he was only a good TV writer/director, all those voices were since silenced. So maybe that’s not a bad thing. Time will tell.

        • Crossbones could be the main threat at first with Winter Soldier being a nuisance that slowly becomes the main villain.

          Perhaps Falcon has been watching over Crossbones and Cap is brought in to assist alongside Hawkeye and Black Widow (who it turns out had history with Winter Soldier as sort of hinted at in her “I have a lot of red in my ledger” comments) and Crossbones would ultimately prove to be a distraction while Bucky is programmed to assassinate a target while SHIELD are otherwise engaged with the guy in the mask?

  4. Said it before and I’ll say it again, too many characters!

    This needs to be about Cap and Bucky. Nothing else.

    • Ususally I agree with you, Sam, but no on this one. Do you want a movie with just 2 guys? I would rather them cast comic book characters than make up non comic book characters. This is the MCU, is it not?

      • The point is, when you add all guess comic book characters you run the risk of one dimensional characters with little to none development. cap 1 had a one dimensional villain with barely enough time to flesh out anyone besides cap. now we are suppose to believe 2 directors whose resume consist of a comedy tv show to deliver a fully developed story with 5+ comic book characters. some people Will be left on the back burner and my guess both falcon and crossbones Will be them. IMO.

        • Wait, you’re predicting a disaster based on the directors only having experience with a comedy show?

          What about giving people a chance to broaden their horizons? Otherwise, Tony Scott wouldn’t have moved from directing music videos to hugely grossing movies such as Top Gun etc.

          • I’m not predicting I am simply expressing how I feel about this character packed ambitious film for the new directors. I hope they prove me wrong. help for all I know they can become Hollywood powerhouses.

            • Because as we’ve all seen, Marvel has no idea what they are doing, right??? Get a clue!


      • I 100% agree. Just because a character is in it, doesn’t mean a chunk of the movie will be dedicated to developing him/her.

        • If a important character from the comics is going to be introduced in a cbm byeond a cameo s/he needs to be felshed out with a decent character arc. Otherwise there is no point of putting them in there.

    • yeah sounds great. They will just put them on set with no one else for the entire movie. People keep complaining about too many characters so now there will only be two

  5. I still think they need t bring back Arnim Zola as the leader AIM who finds Bucky and turns him into Winter Soldier.

    • That makes the most sense, so fingers crossed that’s what’s going to happen!

    • Do hope AIM gets a proper intro within the marvel movieverse continuity. Also what hydra’s been up to. Just felt in avengers that was a wasted moment when loki or thr prof played by sarsgard ask where hawkeye got all this help from.. Hawkeye just replied that shields got alot of enemies. I mean they didnt have to outright say it but a “bee keeper” helmet on a workbench or something would have been a stellar easter egg.

      • Exactly. People who know the comics enough would have recognized it strait away. And those who don’t would probably atleast say “hey I”ve seen that helmet before” once they see AIM fully established later on. They’d atleast recognize it on a second viewing.

      • there were set pics of IM3 at an AIM facility

    • …except Zola was holed up in an American POW Camp for, at minimum, days whilst Bucky lie in the snow…doesn’t sound plausible. Stick with the Russians. The original story involved Black Widow as a double agent and forced a wedge between her and Cap…keep it that way. It would build off of the animosity toward SHIELD that was started in The Avengers. Cap should continue to distrust them and SHIELD knowing about Bucky and doing nothing would be a perfect build-up for phase 2.

      • Zola was actually been ‘working’ with Bucky(‘s body) when Cap saves him in his lab, and that was before his arrest.

  6. And on top of all this, we still have no casting on the main villain, someone has to turn Bucky into Winter Soldier and my bet is that it’s Zemo.

    • Love it. then we could get a Thunderbolts movie. Yeah it will never happen but it would be cool.

  7. “Spiderman 3″ syndrome.

    • i think it hardly qualifies as that, as long as cap doesn’t learn any emo-dance moves. marvel is going to continue to introduce new characters in their movies, and i think it’s great. i can see bucky starts off as an enemy, then comes crossbones, shield puts cap and falcon together on a mission to get the WS, they find it’s bucky. meanwhile, crossbones is creating chaos. bucky gets “re-educated”, teams up with cap and falcon to get crossbones. more chaos/ass-kicking ensues, then at the end we find out who was responsible for turning bucky into WS. somewhere in this is sharon carter, and i think it can be done in just over 2 hours.
      The russo bros. are self proclaimed comic book nerds, and while their directing experience may be limited to TV, they do have experience none the less, and are fimiliar with the source material. i have to think that marvel has a small clue as to what they are doing, and with whedon watching over everything, i have faith that this will be a good sequel. could it suck? yes, but i’m going in with an open mind, and so should all of you.

  8. If he’s going to blab about everything, I don’t think Marvel will hire him… they’re pretty secretive when it comes to this type of stuff.

    Moving on, I think Crossbones would be a great addition. To me it’s pretty clear that he’ll only have a minor role – probably as a henchman to the real villain (I’m hoping it’s Zemo).

  9. This movie has way too many characters!….says everybody, everytime a new movie starts getting casted haha

  10. From all these tweets and secret leaks, has there been any more news on Guardians of the Galaxy? Like who might play Gamora, Drax, or Star-Lord?

  11. Meh. Better off setting this in the 40s so we can get a proper Cap in WW2 movie first.

  12. Im all for Crossbones. He needs to be in a Cap movie. He doesnt have to be a main focus but he needs to be in the overall story.

  13. Why do we have to see who is behind it all, it would fit perfectly if it was a shadow figure, whom turns out to be Dell Rusk, whom was also apart of the Shadow Commitee, from Avengers. Rusk uses Winter Soldier to Bait Cap draw him out. Cap is given intell about the Winter Soldier and then is briefed by both Hawkeye and Widow on their past encounters. Cap and his SHEILD liason Falcon go out and try to bring Bucky back. While Rusk plots to have Cross Bones kill him.

    • Thats not that bad. It sounds like a pretty good story idea for “Dell Rusk”

  14. Hehe the whole comment about too many characters is odd. Its said for every movie on here these days. It all depends how the script is written. Do think that with comic book movies people want every character to be done justice and as such when there’s the possibility that a favorite character could be relegated to being a henchman/minor role/one dimensional/altered to fit with new role in movie etc that it scares people, I know it does for me. I think it would be easy for us to single out various cool characters that got the short end of the stick (xmen films come to mind). I have no problem with crossbones/falcons etc as they fit with capt americas story. They are very much connected and therefore a solid story can be made to weave all of them together in addition to marvel having been fairly careful with the properties thry control up to now. The whole spiderman 3 comparision falls flat, that movie was clearly two very different villains with no connections to each other (other than spiderman) so basically two movie jammed into one.

    • Well said

    • Yes well said. All the characters fit in this story. It’s not like X3 where the fans were calling for archangel and juggernaut so they just throw them in with useless scenes.

  15. People, stop complaining about too many characters. Its a movie, theres going to be alot more people in it besides Captain America. It would be pretty boring if it was just him.
    Plus it wouldnt be a comicbook movie if there wasnt other comicbook characters

  16. I heard Captain America would also in this movie.

    • hahahaha well played

  17. I think Josh Holloway was also trying out for crossbones, or zemo… actually I’m a little disappointed that red skull isn’t back. In the comics skull was awesome, he always had a backup plan. A major marvel villain. I like zemo too, but there’s so much unresolved between skull and cap, and so much of skull’s backstory that’s great.

    unfortunate that a rift between hugo weaving and marvel would prevent that story from unfolding, maybe in cap 3. Despite Weavings misgivings on working with marvel, he was a great red skull.

  18. Crossbones is a great villain for cap I’d be up for seeing him in cap 2 I just really hope it doesn’t suffer from iron man 2 syndrome

  19. I don’t think Captain America was a good enough movie to warrant a sequel, I understand why they made it, to introduce him to audiences so they would know his back story and that The Avengers would have one of their main protagonists, but I think he should just remain within the Avengers world like the Hulk, there is enough going on in Phase 2 with Iron Man, Thor and the Guardians to leave old Cap alone in my opinion

    • well, i for one am glad you are not running things at marvel.

    • Agreed. Cap was an excellent movie for half the film. As soon asthe USO thing came about it started going progressively down hill.

  20. I don’t know if Grillo will get the part, don’t care. This only confirms he went on an interview. I’m sure other actors will be tested also. The most important thing from this story is that the Russo’s are bringing Crossbones to the big screen. So unless we get rewrites, we get a great villain.

  21. It would be interesting if they decided to kill off Cap. Then Bucky will take his place in the future, but I kinda want to see another Cap film with Steve as the main character first.

    • since Evans is signed on for 6 films, it’s doubtful they will kill him off. I suppose it’s possible that marvel has a clause that says they can kill off the character if they decide to; don’t know how that would affect the actor’s salary.

  22. Well I don’t mind as long as they don’t do the 2 and a half hours of montage like they did in the first move. Honestly, the first one was really weak, and I think they really shafted Red Skull in the film. I can only hope for his return in a future Cap. Movie or maybe Avengers?

  23. I like frank grillino. He deserves a lead role in the near future

  24. I liked him in Warrior. A villain role will be pretty interesting to see. Can’t wait to see the costume design also :)

  25. At this point, Cap:TFA had a larger cast than the characters confirmed and rumored for the sequel… just sayin’.
    I’m still not happy with the directors Marvel chose, but as far as “too big a cast” goes, Cap had a bigger cast and so does IM3.

    I’m surprised this guy got the part though… guess we’ll see how things pan out.

    • Well IM3 does have an experienced director at the helm while Cap 2 doesn’t.

  26. Sounds like Captain America 2 is getting ready to have his Iron Man 2 moment. lol.

  27. Frank Grillo is a great actor.

    He was great in Warrior.

    I hope Captain America 2 turns out to be dark and serious.

    Maybe have Steve Rogers discovering there is still violence and crimes around the world and I wonder how he will react towards the modern techology, that would be funny moment.

  28. Grillo is an excellent choice for a villain. I would’ve preferred seeing him as the Constrictor, but I’ll take what I can get.

  29. I would have preferred that they use the female Quasar.