With the ball rolling now for the casting of Marvel Studios’ and Joe Johnston’s The First Avenger: Captain America, we’re about to witness an onslaught of official announcements in the coming weeks regarding who will be joining cast. As we know, Chris Evans is playing Captain America, signing a 9-picture contract to portray the star-spangled Avenger for years to come, and opposite him is Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, the feature villain of the film.

Now joining Weaving and Evan in the Captain America origins tale is Sebastian Stan (Gossip Girl, Kings) who will play Cap’s sidekick, Bucky Barnes. Despite being Romanian-born, Stan was thrown into the list of final candidates in the running to play the title character of Steve Rogers. Similar to the story behind Tom Hiddleston auditioning for the title role in Thor and instead being offered the part as the villain Loki, Marvel and and director Joe Johnston felt Stan would be better suited to play the role of Bucky.

Stan is relatively unknown compared to the two established actors he joins as part of the Captain America cast but I think it’s a far better choice than him playing Cap, considering he looks absolutely nothing like the character.

For those of us anxiously following Marvel movie news to see who gets the chance to play key characters of the Marvel Universe, this puts an end to some of the many rumors out there that had Robert Buckley playing the part of Bucky. The last rumor we heard had big name actors Ryan Phillippe and Keira Knightley as part of the movie but no one was certain on what role Phillippe could be playing. If true, perhaps he will play one of the supporting hero characters in The Invaders,  an international team of heroes who Captain America joins to help combat Nazism during the second World War.

For those unfamiliar with the character Sebastian Stan will be playing, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes is 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 of his Captain America heroics, he dedicates himself to training and becomes his partner – they both are part of The Invaders.

According to a Heat Vision exclusive, Stan has signed a 5 to 6 picture deal with the studio, keeping in line with the low-salary, long-term contracts they’ve signed with Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and others to ensure their participation and protect against budget inflation for the studio’s long-term plans.

If you’re knowledgeable of the history of Captain America and his pal Bucky, then you may see what they’re thinking for the character with such a potentially long-term contract; Near the end of WW2, Bucky dies on a mission with Captain America, the same mission where Cap is frozen in ice only to be awakened years later to take command of The Avengers. While presumed dead, Bucky returned to the comics in 2005 (after many decades) as part of the Winter Soldier storyline and later takes on the mantle of Captain America himself after Steve Rogers is assassinated in the famed Civil War storyline. There’s no word from Marvel if that’s something they will explore in the movies but with a multi-picture contract, we know he’s not being killed off anytime soon.

The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012. Production begins in the UK for Captain America in June.

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Source: Heat Vision