Sebastian Stan is Bucky!

Big casting news today and while I’m glad there’s a lot of mainstream attention on it, there’s only so much that can be said on those , unfortunately. Fortunately, there’s a lot to expound on from the geek POV, so without further ado, how this Captain America fan feels about Sebastian Stan taking on the hallowed role of Bucky in upcoming movie.

No longer dead, no longer a sidekick, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes has now entered the hallowed echelons that only a few comic-book characters have reached – he’ll be in a summer blockbuster! It was announced earlier this week that Sebastian Stan, one of the stars of the unfortunate series “Kings” and also a recurring character on the drama “Gossip Girl”, has been cast in the role of the World War II soldier who fights alongside Captain America (played by Chris Evans).

This is amazing news for me. Firstly, I believe that Sebastian Stan is a fantastic actor, having caught his appearances in the short-lived NBC series “Kings”. As Prince Jack Benjamin, whose royal ambitions were hampered by his closeted homosexuality, he was at once the predator and the prey, the megalomaniac and the pawn, the aggressor and the victim. He played the duality of his role – sometimes sympathetic, often reviled – to a hilt and carried with him a depth that belied his age.

Yet Sebastian Stan is not quite a known face yet. This means the audience has more of an opportunity to be engaged in the character – just like Tobey Maguire did for Spider-Man and Hugh Jackman for Wolverine when both were starting out in the roles. Even more so for a secondary role like Bucky, the audience must be able to truly immerse themselves in the story, without being distracted by say, the easily recognisable body face of Jessica Alba and failing to see her as Sue “Invisible Woman” Storm.

Secondly, casting someone who’s almost the same age as Evans would hopefully mean that they’re leaning towards current Cap writer Ed Brubaker’s version of Bucky, who’s less of a campy kid sidekick like Burt Ward’s Robin, and more of the adult saboteur that Brubaker envisioned. In other words, this Bucky is a real full-fledged soldier, not just an endearing mascot.

Of course, there has been no confirmed plot for the movie, with the exception that Captain America will start off being a member of the USO, so it’s not immediately clear where Bucky will fit into all this. Still, while Chris Evans’ is mainly known for his role as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, his performance in Sunshine leaves me much hope that “The First Avenger: Captain America” will not only be an action-packed outing, but also one that has drama and depth.

The casting of Sebastian Stan, who brings so much gravitas to the characters he plays, is honestly exciting, as a result. Marvel movies have ever increasingly been able to draw A-listers to the cast, and make A-listers out of their cast, so I hope this trend continues with the Cap movie.

As a Bucky fan who considers Brubaker’s run on Captain America on the levels of the late, great icon Mark Gruenwald and the literary genius Mark Waid, I am pleased that the announcement of Sebastian Stan as Bucky is made so soon after Chris Evans’. I hope this implies that Stan’s role will be a significant one – since he has also been contracted for several more movies.

After all, in our current Marvel universe, Bucky Barnes has been Captain America for almost 2 years now. It remains to be seen if that storyline will make it to the movies – since it would probably seem dated – but this Bucky fan will be waiting eagerly to see what comes out of The First Avenger: Captain America.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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