Brock Rumlow was introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as the head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team, but he was later outed as one of HYDRA’s top operatives. Despite being badly injured at the end of the 2014 blockbuster, Rumlow, played by Frank Grillo, will be back in action for Captain America: Civil War in May, and this time he’ll be causing trouble in his Crossbones guise. Details have been light about what precisely to expect from him, but now it’s looking more likely that Crossbones will be the primary instigator for the movie’s conflict.
While remaining coy, executive producer Nate Moore hinted that Crossbones is responsible for the incident that leads to the Sokovia Accords being drafted and the world governments declaring that superheroes need to be regulated. Here’s how Moore described the villain’s new mindset to Hitfix:
Crossbones is interesting. Again, a character who we all love and an actor we all love. We felt like there was a really good way for him to, once again, kind of fan the conflict that was already brewing. Here’s a guy who is a free radical. Hydra has kind of gone under. He’s sort of doing his own thing now…What happens when he pops back up? He is, I think, probably more unhinged than he was in the last film. He is definitely serving his own agenda. He’s not afraid to kill people along the way. So he becomes almost the spark point for what happens with the rest of the film.
Aside from a brief shot of him in November’s teaser trailer, none of the officially released Captain America: Civil War previews have shown Crossbones. (Maybe tomorrow’s trailer will change that.) However, the footage screened last August at D23 featured Crossbones tussling with Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon, and, when they eventually capture him, Rumow taunts Steve Rogers about his best friend, Bucky Barnes, not remembering him. Since Black Widow is still working with Cap and Falcon and not siding with Iron Man yet, this scene likely takes place towards the beginning of the movie, thus lining up with Crossbones being the culprit of this still-unidentified incident that results in collateral damage.
Those who’ve read the Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run in the comics know that immediately after the Civil War concluded, Crossbones sniped Captain America while in police custody and was publicly blamed for his death (even though Sharon Carter delivered the "killing" shots while hypnotized). Frank Grillo denied that Crossbones will do this in the MCU, although some rumors indicate that a grim fate still awaits the Star-Spangled Avenger. Regardless, it’s clear moviegoers can count on Crossbones bringing the pain for his second MCU appearance, and since he’s not on HYDRA’s leash anymore, he’ll make sure nothing stops him from carrying out revenge for what happened to him in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
We’ll see what Marvel has in store for Crossbones when Captain America: Civil War charges into theaters on May 6. In the meantime, prepare yourself for the new trailer set to drop tomorrow.