The Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw the debut of the Bradleys, a grandfather-grandson duo living a secluded life in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The series revealed Isaiah Bradley to be a hidden hero erased from the history books, consequently carrying out his days quietly after being betrayed by the country he fought so hard for. While Isaiah's Super Soldier days seem to be far behind him, Eli's might just be getting started.

ELI BRADLEY'S MCU FUTURE

Elijah Bradley and Isaiah Bradley
Marvel Studios

He may have only appeared in a handful of scenes, but Eli Bradley's MCU tenure could just be beginning.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct, actor Elijah Richardson discussed what it was like to get into character before cameras began rolling for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Even with limited screen time, Richardson said he cut no corners when it came to learning about who Eli Bradley is.

"I did my research after I found out I got the role. I tried to figure out who Elijah Bradley was, and what relationships he might have with other people maybe in the Marvel Universe. I just took that into consideration when approaching the character."

As for the character's future, Richardson said he can only hope he gets the call to return to the MCU one day.

"Honestly that’s kind of all it is, is hopes and dreams. I mean, yeah obviously, who doesn’t want to be a part of the MCU? Right? But I mean, we’ll see. It’s more of a we’ll see."

FLAG-BEARING FUTURE?

Young Avengers Patriot
Marvel Studios

Eli Bradley's inclusion in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had big implications from the jump, and while the character did not make a major splash in that series, his established presence positions him to grow.

Considering his mysterious audition process, it's no surprise that Richardson dove straight into educating himself on all aspects of his character once he was confirmed to be playing Eli Bradley. Richardson's emphasis on his "relationships" research indicates he caught up on a collection of characters Eli would interact with beyond his grandfather.

On the page, Eli Bradley adopts the alias Patriot, a genetically modified Super Soldier that leads the Young Avengers. With fellow adolescent Earth's Mightiest Heroes like Billy and Tommy Maximoff already in the MCU and big names like Kate Bishop and America Chavez coming later in Phase 4, the pieces are being placed for the Young Avengers to come together one day.

As for where Eli could appear next, the most appropriate project is Malcolm Spellman's Captain America 4. The fourth installment of the star-spangled franchise is reportedly only in development, but with rumors of it picking up where The Falcon and the Winter Soldier left off, it makes sense that supporting characters from the series would make their way into the film.

For now, Elijah Richardson can be seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, streaming in full on Disney+.