Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for quite some time. His first appearance was in 2011's Captain America: The First Avengers alongside his childhood friend Steve Rogers, and he’s been going strong ever since. From being a best friend to a brainwashed enemy, and back to an ally, the one-armed character has had quite the journey.
Recently, the former HYDRA assassin appeared in one of the first MCU Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The show followed both Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson as the two are forced to reluctantly team up to defend the legacy of Captain America.
Barnes’ personal journey throughout the story was to come to terms with the trauma and guilt he has shouldered from everything he had to do under the influence of HYDRA. By the end of the project’s sixth installment, the hero had made some notable steps toward moving past his harrowing history. So, what’s next?
Sebastian Stan Talks Future as Bucky Barnes
In an interview with Radio Times, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan commented on his future in the MCU.
The actor first made it clear that the MCU is “always going to be a part of [his] life:”
“Oh yeah, of course… mean, it’s been such a part of my life for such a long time, and it’s very nostalgic, and it’s always going to be a part of my life, one way or another."
Stan said that returning to the role of Bucky Barnes is “something I can kind of slip into very easily:”
“It’s interesting coming back, you know, going back to a character after so many years because they’re almost like a weird roommate… I feel like it’s just something I can kind of slip into very easily, having played so often, but there’s always places to take him and explore.”
In terms of where his character was, the actor said Bucky “was facing the past… for quite some time” and that he had finally gotten to a new place by the end of the show:
“I think lastly, he had arrived in a really interesting place. Because for quite some time, he was facing the past and there was an identity question and a sort of a purpose question and relearning about oneself… and I think we got him by the end to that place. So it really does become what does Bucky Barnes do now? And look, there’s something to that as well, because obviously you never really stop growing and learning about yourself or dealing with your past.”
Stane then concluded by teasing how “there’s always going to be more to explore:”
“But when someone seemingly has fulfilled certain tasks and has found their way to some extent, who are they then? And so there’s always going to be more to explore. I think, you know, if the opportunities allow...”
What’s Next for Sebastian Stan in the MCU?
The next steps for Sam Wilson in the MCU seem pretty clear, seeing as he now has the mantle of Captain America. The path ahead for Bucky Barnes isn’t so clear.
There will be a Captain America 4, but Sebastian Stan’s involvement in the picture hasn’t been confirmed—though, it is the most likely place where fans will see him again. Maybe he could show up in Armor Wars, but that’s a thin theory based solely on how his arm is a piece of sophisticated tech.
Another possibility would be to make an appearance in Secret Invasion as either the true Bucky or a secret Skrull agent.
When it comes to what the character may do upon his return, based on his journey in his recent Disney+ outing, his next story will likely deal with Bucky trying to be a real hero, accepting he has the capability of being that kind of person.
All episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+.