With Marvel Studios taking moviegoers back to the 1940s in their introduction of The First Avenger, we’re going to have the opportunity to meet a key character of Captain America’s early life as a Super-Soldier: Bucky Barnes. In the Marvel Comics, Bucky was introduced in 1941 as a young sidekick of the heroic Captain America, acting as a character the young readers of the books could relate to, one seemingly too young and not fit for regular soldier duty.

In Captain America: The First Avenger, Sebastian Stan does not play that character. Instead, director Joe Johnston and co. have inserted a new and improved Bucky Barnes, one that works for modern audiences in the live-action film medium.

For those unfamiliar with the character Sebastian Stan will be playing, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was an orphan whose father, a soldier, died in training. He was underage during the war and instead acted as a sort of mascot for the base he resided at. After befriending Steve Rogers and learning that he was secretly Captain America, he dedicated himself to training and becoming his partner and eventually they served together as part of The Invaders.

Hero Complex had a chance to speak with Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston about the character, who we’ll finally get to meet alongside Chris Evans in the film’s first trailer, attached to the Super Bowl this Sunday.

We haven’t discussed the character of Bucky in recent months as marketing focuses on the title character, but actor Sebastian Stan is finally getting his due credit from director Joe Johnston and the first officially released image of his character in the film (seen up top).

“Sebastian brought something really interesting and slightly on the dark side and really compelling to watch — when he’s on camera, you’re fascinated by watching him… In a great cast, I thought he really stood out and brought some unexpected things to the role. Everyone brought something to the movie and a lot of them brought something great but I was most pleasantly surprised by what Chris brought and what Sebasatian brought in a much smaller role as Bucky.”

While Sebastian Stan may have not been the type of actor they were looking for as the title character, he certainly was able to bring the persona of a “bad boy” soldier, as you can see from his gritty look from the photo. He’s not your young little mascot from the 1940s comics.

“You know, he was originally up for the lead, for the Steve Rogers role, but he didn’t have quite the same earnest, I-want-to-fight-for-my-country aura that Chris has for this role. Sebastian has a little bit of the bad boy, he’s a little bit of the James Dean type and that goes somewhat counter to the general perception of Steve Rogers. He wasn’t quite right for Captain America, but I think he’s perfect for Bucky because, really, he can have a little bit of that dark side.”

What can we expect from Bucky in this movie and his partnership with Steve Rogers, since he’s not your typical “sidekick” anymore?

“We took some liberties with the relationship between the two guys… In our story, Bucky is already in the service, he’s already joined up and is being sent overseas while Steve is still struggling to get in the army. That’s different than what you may have read in the comics. It adds a nuance to the relationship that pays off later. They’re closer in age, too — they’re virtually the same age. That’s not the case at all if you go back to the old comics.”

While Chris Evans may get to do the cover shoots in his Captain America duds, it may be Sebastian Stan’s gritty James “Bucky” Barnes character who may sneak up as a fan-favorite character. When Stan was cast, the report indicated that he signed a 5-6 picture deal, meaning Bucky will be doing more than just Captain America solo movies. If you know the books and how the character returned in 2005, you can speculate on potential future Captain America movie story lines…

Expect more images of Bucky and the cast soon. We saw some leaked magazine shots which featured Sebastian Stan’s Bucky sporting a sniper rifle in action so stay tuned for the official release of those! Captain America sits on top of the list of our most anticipated movies of 2011 and we look forward to the first Captain America trailer justifying our excitement.

Directed by Joe JohnstonCaptain America: The First Avenger stars Chris Evans stars alongside Neal McDonough’s Dum Dum Dugan, Tommy Lee JonesHugo Weaving as the Red Skull, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes.

Captain America hits theaters July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

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Source: Hero Complex