Sebastian Stan is getting the leadership his Marvel character deserves!
Since The Avengers assembled for the first time back in 2012, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) was their unofficial leader/bankroller. They met on his property at Stark Tower and were eventually all based on Avengers Campus, also his property, and, in the case of Peter Parker (Tom Holland), he even built suits for some of them. When Tony (Downey Jr.) died, there was an inevitable power vacuum. The question was, who was going to fill it?
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It obviously couldn’t be Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who was now easily in his 100s, though he would have been the obvious choice. The two battled it out, each serving as leaders in their own right during Captain America: Civil War (2016) and each being a leader in the climactic final battle of Avengers: Endgame (2019). So, if not either of these two, would Thor (Chris Hemsworth) step up? History proved that he would not.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) showed a successor to Iron Man’s (Downey Jr.) tech prowess in Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), but made it pretty clear that she wasn’t going to take the mantle of leadership that the late Stark (Downey Jr.) held. Not to mention, The Avengers, as they currently stand in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are in a bit of a sorry state. Leaderless, the surviving Team Members are scattered.
Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) sacrificed herself to save the universe in Endgame, Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is either off-planet or helping his cousin, Thor (Hemsworth) is out in the universe, and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) deserves some family time. The other members of the team all have their own issues they’ve been working with as well, so maybe it’s just time for a new team. More than one new team is on the way, but who could lead them?
Kevin Feige revealed the leader for one of those new teams just this week. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, covered by The Direct, the Marvel president spoke about one of Marvel Studios’ upcoming projects, Thunderbolts (2024), and gave fans a huge new detail: who will be the leader or Iron Man (Downey Jr.) of this ragtag group:
“That’s another one. We’ve got a lot of things that start shooting relatively soon. What’s fun about that, and I sort of said this at D23, is that they are barely heroes. None of them would consider themselves heroes. When your de facto leader is Bucky Barnes, that’s sort of all you need to know. That’s the trickle down.”
Originally thought to be just one of the gang, now fans know that Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) will be the leader of the new team of anti-heroes. It does make sense though: out of the entire lineup Barnes (Stan) is the only character who has not only been an Avenger but has also fought alongside most of the original team and is also the oldest by far and away, thanks to his time as the Winter Soldier (Stan). The question will be, can he keep the group in check?
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The Thunderbolts movie comes to theaters on July 26, 2024. The film stars Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Wyatt Russell as John Walker/US Agent, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Harrison Ford’s President Thaddeus Ross. With no official synopsis, Thunderbolts could be taken a lot of different ways in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
What do you think about Sebastian Stan being the Iron Man of the Thunderbolts? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!