Captain America has died before. Like many superheroes after the release of The Death and Return of Superman, Steve Rogers passed to the great beyond–albeit briefly—in an event that made national news; at the hands of Ed Brubaker, Cap was shot and killed in a 2007 Captain America storyline, with his mantle eventually being taken up by his former sidekick, Bucky Barnes. Though the death was later retconned (Cap phased in and out of time and space. Who is he, the Doctor?), Bucky taking up the iconic shield has been an enduring trope, being a featured aspect of the “Death of Captain America” and the Marvel event Fear Itself.
So it comes as no real surprise when, in an interview with Newsarama, Sebastian Stan—who played Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger and will star the titular Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier—announced that he has been signed on with Marvel Studios and Disney for nine more Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
While it hasn’t been confirmed to Stan that he will eventually play Captain America, this is an almost unprecedented amount of films for someone who didn’t start in a starring role. Especially considering Stan didn’t know if the role of Winter Soldier was going to be official until long after the first Captain America had wrapped.
Of the role, Stan said he is happy about the job stability of the nine picture deal, and excited to bring the character to life:
“I get to be lucky enough to do this for multiple years. So yeah, you have to learn about the character, love the character, and for me, there was no question—I had to read up, as much as I could. And fortunately, I’m not building from scratch here. There’s plenty of stories and material that tell you that Bucky acts a certain way, and there are plenty of fans who are very opinionated and will help you find out more and appreciate it all. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right…I’m happy and lucky to be part of it all.”
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Sebastian Stan responded to the question of “how does it feel to have Captain America 3 going up against DC’s Batman/Superman?” with this choice quote:
“All you really have to do to know the answer to that question is just look at the track record of Marvel vs. DC . . . Green Lantern.”
Touché, Sebastian Stan. Touché. Here’s the full video clip with Stan’s remarks: