Sebastian Stan admits that he was surprised when Marvel Studios made Bucky into the White Wolf at the end of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. An easily missable detail included in the post-credit scene of Black Panther is Bucky being regarded as the famous character from the comic books. Print readers eventually got the reference with regard to the name, but at that point, it wasn't confirmed if it was anything more than a fun easter egg. It wasn't until recently that it was confirmed Bucky would be known as the White Wolf in Avengers: Infinity War.
With the Avengers' most dangerous threat looming in the shadows and only waiting for the right time to strike, Cap and the rest of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes will need all the help they can get. And despite his complicated history with some of the team members, Bucky will be at the forefront of the Infinity War's Wakandan battle when Thanos and his minions attempt to take over the kingdom and acquire Vision's Mind Stone.
In an interview with Kinowetter for Avengers: Infinity War, Sebastian Stan commented on Bucky's character development on the big screen. Following his return as the villainous Winter Soldier, he's gone through quite a lot, including going up against his best pal. But now, he's off to a fresh start as the White Wolf, something that the actor admits to being surprised by.
“Now, talking about comic books and merging them with the MCU, I want to go back and revisit the Black Panther comics because of the White Wolf situation and that’s a whole different line, so I didn’t even see that really going that way and understanding what that could be. But it’s really clever the way they do it, if you think about it. I look at that and go, ‘Of course. That makes sense, that feels well.’ I don’t know how they think about it.”
Obviously, Bucky taking over the White Wolf persona is a significant diversion from the character's comics origins, but that doesn't mean that the MCU will totally veer away from the source material with regard to the character's future. After all, why else would they introduce the name in the franchise? This move also somehow clears the path for Sam Wilson to potentially become Captain America if Steve Rogers bites the dust in the upcoming Avengers films and if that's the route that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team plan on taking.
It's ironic that, despite being a part of the MCU since Phase 1, it seems now that Bucky is only now starting to cement his own narrative in the franchise. With his mind nearly free of HYDRA's brainwashing thanks to Wakandan tech (and Shuri), he's finally becoming the hero that he always wanted to be. And whatever Marvel Studios decides to do with his character down the line, it seems safe to say that he'll be a pivotal part of the MCU in the years to come.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019