Since being introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2011, Bucky Barnes has maintained an important presence in the Captain America movies. Because Sebastian Stan still has plenty of movies left on his nine-picture contract, it stands to reason that he’ll eventually appear in other kinds of Marvel movies, but his future post-Captain America: Civil War hasn’t been officially divulged. However, now Stan is hinting that Bucky, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, could appear in Black Panther.
When asked at a panel at Wizard World Philadelphia this past weekend (via Comicbook.com) about where he would like to see Buck appear next, Sebastian Stan indirectly suggested that there’s a good chance that following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther would be the next best place for his character to return. He said:
I don't know, man. I mean, there's obviously a very clear answer but I'm not maybe say it, now (sic). Where did he end up at the end of the movie? That's the movie he should be in. I feel like that would be the natural... But I don't know.
Sebastian Stan is obviously playing coy and unwilling to provide any specifics for fear of the infamous Marvel snipers tagging him, but we’re guessing he’s already privy to details about what’s coming up for his character. Stan has six movies left on his original deal, so Marvel has many opportunities to bring him back in Phase Three and Phase Four. However, Black Panther hasn’t begun shooting yet, so it may be a while until Stan’s involvement in that movie is addressed, if at all. Aside from Chadwick Boseman reprising T’Challa, the only actors who have been announced for Black Panther are Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan, though Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue and Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross have been rumored to appear.
Those who’ve seen Captain America: Civil War know why Black Panther is the most logical choice for Bucky Barnes’ next appearance. During the third Captain America entry, main antagonist Helmut Zemo used trigger words that activated Bucky’s inner HYDRA programming to turn him into a mindless killing machine. Even though Zemo was captured by the end of the movie, Bucky knew he still posed a risk, so he went into stasis in Wakanda until King T’Challa’s scientists could figure out a way to erase the lingering HYDRA brainwashing in his system. We don’t know how long that’s going to take, but if something happens in Black Panther where T’Challa finds himself needing backup, waking up Bucky from his "sleep" might be necessary. This could also pave the way for both these heroes to get involved in Avengers: Infinity War, which arrives only three months later.
With or without Bucky Barnes, Black Panther slashes its way into theaters on February 16, 2018.