First Look at MCU’s New Bucky Following Disappointing Sebastian Stan Removal

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Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka Winter Solider in Captain America Marvel

Credit: Marvel Studios

Following news that Sebastian Stan will not appear in a highly-anticipated upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, a first look at the new version of Bucky Barnes has leaked online.

Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes with long brown hair and a solemn expression, wearing a leather jacket and black turtleneck, stands in a dimly lit industrial setting.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Sebastian Stan was last seen as James Buchanan Barnes, AKA Bucky Barnes, the former Winter Soldier, three years ago in Malcolm Spellman’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, directed by Kari Skogland.

Here, the tenured MCU actor starred alongside fellow Marvel star Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon. It was in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ that Mackie’s Sam Wilson fully embodied his new role as Captain America–a mantle Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) passed down to his friend in the final moments of the Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Anthony Mackie looking down at the Captain America Shield as an old Chris Evans looks on
Credit: Marvel Studios

Across the six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson explored his feelings about being a Black man, as well as Captain America, offering a commentary on race relations in the United States.

This was further heightened by the inclusion of Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley. Lumbly will soon return alongside Mackie in next year’s fourth Captain America movie, Captain America: Brave New World (2025).

(L) Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and (R) Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Joining Mackie and Lumbly in Julius Onah’s Captain America: Brave New World will be the renowned Hollywood veteran and star of the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Blade Runner franchises, Harrison Ford. The 81-year-old actor will appear as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and the President of the United States, replacing the late William Hurt, who passed away in early 2022.

Ford’s role as Thunderbolt Ross, teamed with multiple reports, rumors, and merchandise leaks, also seemingly confirms him as the Red Hulk in Kevin Feige’s MCU.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) smiling in a jungle
Credit: Lucasfilm

However, despite Mackie and Lumbly returning from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the former’s co-lead, Sebastian Stan, will not appear in Captain America: Brave New World. Instead, it looks as though Danny Ramirez, who plays Joaquin Phoenix, AKA Falcon, in the film, will replace Stan as Sam’s counterpart.

While discussing the upcoming film in early March 2024, Mackie said that “he doesn’t have his friends [on set] anymore” (via ComicBook), referencing actors Stan and Daniel Brühl, who played Baron Zemo in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

daniel bruhl as baron zemo in captain america civil war
Credit: Marvel Studios

It seems unusual that someone so connected to the Captain America franchise–Stan has, after all, appeared in every Captain America movie (The First Avengers, The Winter Soldier, Civil War) since 2011–be absent from the fourth entry.

Per early trailer footage from CinemaCon 2024, Captain America: Brave New World (formerly Captain America: New World Order) will see Harrison Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross ask Sam Wilson to “rebuild the Avengers.” The Avengers have not been together onscreen since 2019’s Endgame, and with multiple new characters entering the MCU over the last five years, it will be interesting to see who builds out this new roster.

A large group of the Avengers making a stand in Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Fans may already have a clue, though. At CinemaCon, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed that the Phase Five finale, Thunderbolts (2025), received a title update. Now, the movie will go by Thunderbolts*, with Feige saying that the asterisk will not be explained until after the movie comes out.

It seems that Marvel is hinting that the Thunderbolts may become, at least partially, the new Avengers. The Thunderbolts squad was revealed in 2022 and will consist of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova/Black Widow, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Wyatt Russell as John Walker/U.S. Agent, Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr/Ghost, Olga Kurylenko as Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier.

Thunderbolts cast
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Directors Weigh in on ‘Winter Soldier’ as Marvel Reveals Sebastian Stan’s Replacement

Earlier this week, Atlanta_Filming shared a photo from the set of Thunderbolts* confirming a new look for Bucky Barnes. In the since-deleted Instagram post, Bucky dons longer hair, akin to his Captain America: The Winter Soldier look, and a goatee.

The image was reshared by MCU Scooper (update_marvel) on X (formerly Twitter):

First look at Sebastian Stan on the set of THUNDERBOLTS

Bucky Barnes is BACK

Via: Atlanta_filming

Stan’s return in Thunderbolts*, which directly succeeds Captain America: Brave New World, and the inclusion of Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross, suggests that Anthony Mackie’s Captain America may show up in Thunderbolts* and recruit some of the squad for the new Avengers initiative.

Thunderbolts* is written by Eric Pearson, Lee Sung Jin, and Joanna Calo and directed by Jake Schreier. It also stars Geraldine Viswanathan as Valentina’s assistant and Lewis Pullman as Sentry, replacing Steven Yeun in the role after the Beef star exited the production.

Wyatt Russell as John Walker (L) and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (R)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Confirms Radical MCU Reboot, ‘Deadpool 3’ Release Canceled

The leak of Stan’s new version of Bucky Barnes comes following the confirmation from Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and Marvel’s Kevin Feige that the output for Marvel will drastically reduce to two, a maximum of three, feature films and no more than two shows on Disney+ per year.

2025 already includes Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts* for Phase Five and The Fantastic Four and Blade for the first two movies in Phase Six.

Are you excited to see Sebastian Stan back as Bucky Barnes in the MCU? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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