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Thanks to the post-credits scene of Captain America: Civil War, fans have been speculating for years about the possibility of seeing Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. As was revealed at the end of the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed blockbuster, the mind-controlled assassin is currently on ice in the nation of Wakanda, and some have wondered if he could possibly be defrosted in time to help King T'Challa deal with his antagonists. It turns out that movie-goers shouldn't get too excited for this idea, given the exchange we had with producer Nate Moore on the set of Black Panther last year:
Question: You mentioned this movie isn't going to rely on any cameos from other Avengers movies. Is it safe to assume that the Winter Soldier is still on ice and isn't going to factor in at all?
Nate Moore: That is pretty safe to assume.
Nate Moore, who has been a producer with Marvel Studios going back to the second Captain America, told us about the possibility of seeing The Winter Soldier in Black Panther last year when I had the pleasure of joining a small group of journalists to visit the set of the blockbuster when it was still in production. As you can probably tell, Moore suggested during our sit down that the latest feature from Marvel will be more self-contained than some of the more expansive franchise features, and part of that means not really featuring any other major superhero characters. It would seem that this includes Bucky Barnes, who will probably be staying frozen until it's time for The Avengers: Infinity War.
As cool as it might have been to see Black Panther at some point in his movie go to the cryogenics lab and pick up a secret weapon, there is a logic to that not actually happening. The Winter Soldier didn't freeze himself because he wanted to; he did it because he doesn't feel that he can fully function in the real world given his past with Hydra brainwashing. That very much sets up a "Break Glass Only In Case Of Emergency" situation, and it's hard to imagine things getting that crazy extreme in Black Panther. The man will be woken up soon enough -- given that we see him fighting side-by-side with the Wakandan army in the first trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War, but you probably shouldn't expect any of that to start going down in Marvel's latest solo adventure.
Black Panther probably won't ultimately feature very many A-list Marvel Comics characters during its runtime, but the great news is that's balanced out by the ridiculous ensemble featured -- including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forrest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, and many, many more. They'll all be up on the big screen come February 16th -- and we couldn't be more excited.