Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier will most likely go down as one of the best films of 2014, thanks to its smart blend of political and genre thrills that harkened back to the 1970s productions that inspired it. Of course, in addition to being an entertaining standalone installment, the sequel also began to lay the foundation for what's to come - something that included introducing new characters to the world.
One of those was Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo), and anyone who has knowledge of the comics knows that he was probably introduced for a specific reason. Rumlow, who was a S.H.I.E.L.D. counter-terrorism officer in the film, became the villain Crossbones in the comics, an adversary who would go on to team up with the Red Skull (among others). Fans hoping that the MCU goes down a similar path surely won't be disappointed by today's news, since Grillo has confirmed that he has a multi-picture contract with the studio.
While promoting his new series Kingdom in an interview with Collider, the actor was asked about his future role in the ever-expanding superhero franchise. Grillo obviously couldn't dive into too much detail, but he is looking forward to exploring the character more:
"I have a multi-contract deal with Marvel. The movie was an origin film for that character. If you know the comic, he has a significant presence. So, knock wood. With Marvel, you can’t say very much, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have some fun in the next few Marvel movies."
Grillo's "knock wood" comment would seem to indicate that while a deal is in place, his next appearance has not been set in stone just yet. You may recall that Hugo Weaving signed his own multi-picture deal when he agreed to play Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, but whether it was Weaving's disinterest in starring in more blockbusters or narrative practicality, the character has been left out of the MCU ever since. It seems as if locking their actors in for the long haul is just a standard business practice.
That said, Grillo is more enthusiastic about reprising his role than Weaving ever was, leading us to believe that the Crossbones character will be fleshed out as we progress through Phase 3. Grillo has mentioned that "origin story" bit in the past, referencing discussions he has had with Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who will be returning to helm Captain America: Civil War. So clearly, they have been planning something big for Grillo all along.
Crossbones played a fairly large part in the comic source material for the third Captain America film, shooting Steve Rogers in the shoulder following Rogers' surrender to the pro-superhero registration faction, before being tracked down by Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That event leads into the "Fallen Son: Death of Captain America" storyline, and with Chris Evans mentioning how he's looking forward to his career after Marvel, the films could very well be setting this up to take place onscreen.
Should this be the case, some details may have to be altered (Crossbones was acting on Red Skull's orders in the comics), but taking artistic liberties with superhero films is all part of the game. As we learned in The Winter Soldier, HYDRA infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. decades ago, so if Weaving isn't game for more Johann Schmidt, Crossbones' superior could be changed to whomever is in charge of the organization and the basic narrative beats will still be intact.
Besides, the assassination of Captain America is big enough on its own; the reappearance of a classic foe isn't all that necessary.
How would you like to see Grillo be used in the MCU? Sound off in the comments below.
Captain America: Civil War will be in theaters May 6, 2016.
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