Captain America: New World Order made quite the impression at D23 this last weekend. While it had no footage to show, since filming has not yet begun, Marvel Studios did announce that Tim Blake Nelson would be returning as the main villain of the flick, The Leader. But, as exciting as the news was, somebody was seemingly missing on stage: Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes.
Seeing as how Bucky and Sam both became much closer during the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it seemed odd not to have the two back together for Anthony Mackie's first solo Captain America film.
It seems that instead of standing by Sam's side, he'll be busy leading a team of misfits alongside Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova in Thunderbolts—which is set to release just two months after New World Order.
So, given that, the big question is: will Bucky be too busy to hang out with Sam? Or vice versa? Well, the actor himself has his own thoughts.
Will Bucky Barnes Be In New World Order?
While the actor didn't have a serious answer to the topic, he did joke that he "[need[s] some time from Anthony [Mackie]:"
“I need some time from Anthony [Mackie] because I need to sort of find my way back to me. I know he has a lot of separation anxiety as we speak, but I try to reassure him that I’ll be okay.”
While Bucky may not be appearing in the fourth Captain America installment, other old faces will be, including Danny Ramirez's Joaquin Torres and Carl Lumbly's Isaiah Bradley from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In the same interview, Ramirez commented how "[he's] excited to work with [director] Julius [Onah]" on Captain America 4:
“I’m excited to work with Julius [Onah] and see what his vision of the film is gonna be and how he’s gonna set us up for success..."
Lumbly jumped in to add how he feels as if he's "[coming] back for summer school:"
“Coming back for a second one, I don’t even feel like a sophomore. I feel like I’m being made to come back for summer school ’cause it’s just too large to really put your mind around.”
The director of the film, Julius Onah, noted how they are "really testing [Sam Wilson" in this film and that a key question the story will be asking him is "what it means to lead:"
“We’re really testing him,” Julius Onah continued. “And now that he’s taken the mantle of Captain America, he’s really going to question what it means to lead. And all the action and all the emotionality of the story is really built around him answering that question... his values are going to determine so much of what’s going to happen moving forward... we’re putting that to the test in this film.”
Don't Let the Bucky-Sam Bromance Die
This isn't the first time the actor has joked about his separation from his Disney+ co-star. Sebastian Stan previously exclaimed how "freedom tastes bright" in regards to having separate movies.
But the question remains, is Bucky in New World Order? While not confirmed, it's still very likely that he at least makes a cameo appearance In fact, there's all the chance in the world that a hypothetical appearance in Sam's first solo movie could directly lead to the events of Thunderbolts.
On the flip side of that, Anthony Mackie may even make an appearance Stan's new team-up movie. Maybe Sam finds out what Bucky has been up to and isn't the biggest fan of him leading a team comprised partially of villains—with John Walker being a notable mention amongst the pack.
Sadly, with both projects two years away, fans shouldn't expect any answers to this question anytime soon. Maybe Marvel Studios will be nice enough to address the possibility next year at San Diego Comic-Con—perhaps right before they announce the Fantastic Four cast?