Captain America: Civil War is coming out on DVD this September, and to celebrate, Marvel Studios has released a deleted scene that teases a potential new storyline in the Captain America universe. In the film, Captain America and his allies engage in battle with Iron Man and several other Avengers over whether or not superheroes should be held accountable for their occasionally catastrophic mistakes.
In the clip embedded below, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is attempting to get his best friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), to safety when they are attacked by War Machine. When Steve falls to the ground and drops his iconic star-spangled shield, Bucky swoops in to save him and knocks War Machine off course with a throw of the shield. “Nice save,” Steve tells him, to which Bucky replies: “I gotta get me one of those.”
While this may seem like an innocuous exchange, or just another example of classic Marvel movie banter, the scene actually holds greater implications for the Captain America franchise. Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo recently told the Huffington Post that Steve Rogers will no longer carry the mantle of Captain America.
“I think him dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity. [It’s] him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making,” said Joe Russo, referring to a moment at the end of Captain America: Civil War when Steve Rogers leaves his shield behind after a brutal, near-fatal battle with Iron Man.
If Steve Rogers isn’t Captain America, who is? That’s where Bucky Barnes comes in. In the original Captain America: Civil War comic arc, on which the film was based, Steve Rogers died and Bucky assumed the title of Captain America in order to honor his friend. Since the shield is an iconic part of the Captain America costume and backstory, the “gotta get me one of those” comment foreshadows Bucky donning the stars and stripes himself.
The Russo brothers themselves confirmed that they were directly referencing Bucky-as-Cap, telling IGN about “a scene that is a cut scene. It’s a small piece of the fight at Leipzig where there’s a very fun interaction between Cap and Bucky, and it kind of hints at a favorite storyline in the books.”
This has to be done… Bucky as Captain America pic.twitter.com/BFX4VWiiHq— FunnyTweets (@funny_together) May 26, 2016
While it’s unclear precisely when Bucky might become Captain America, some fans think it’ll happen after the third Avengers film, subtitled Infinity War. Steve Rogers is confirmed to return for Infinity War, but whether or not he’ll be appearing as Captain America or as another comic book alterego called Nomad remains to be seen. Either way, Steve Rogers will definitely be useful in the fight against Thanos, a supervillain who has been steadily gaining power in the background of multiple Marvel films and who will be the main antagonist in Infinity War.
This isn’t the first time the films have hinted at Bucky’s future as Captain America. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a deleted scene showed Bucky in full Winter Soldier costume picking up Steve’s shield.
One fan imaged Bucky as Captain America with some inspired Photoshop fanart:
Someone made an edit of Bucky Barnes as Captain America!— SuperBroMovies (@SuperBroMovies) September 15, 2015
This is beautiful! pic.twitter.com/HI1USb4HEz
In addition to the Captain America: Civil War deleted scene and the comic book evidence, there’s one last big hint that Bucky could take over the role. Chris Evans, who has played Steve Rogers/Captain America in five Marvel films (plus a delightful uncredited cameo in Thor: The Dark World), only has one film remaining on his contract. His final Marvel film, unless he renegotiates his contract, will be Avengers: Infinity War.
Sebastian Stan, on the other hand, signed on to do a whopping nine films and has only appeared in the three Captain America films so far. That leaves him with six films left to explore the Bucky Barnes story. Stan has already been confirmed for Avengers: Infinity War, so we may see Bucky trading in his metal arm for Spandex tights in his next Marvel appearance.
[Image via Walt Disney Pictures]