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In 2014, Captain America villain Brock Rumlow entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Frank Grillo played him in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and 2016’s Captain America: Civil War saw the character officially taking on his Crossbones moniker. Although Civil War saw Crossbones meeting a messy end, just like in comic books, the MCU is no stranger to resurrecting characters, so is there a chance that the HYDRA operative-turned-mercenary could be brought back to live-action someday? According to Grillo, that’s not going to happen.
Frank Grillo didn’t mince words about Crossbones’ lack of a future in upcoming MCU movies and live-action Disney+ shows while recently speaking with Variety. As the actor put it:
They’re done with me. Because of the way the stories wound up being told and just how big the stories became, the Crossbones of it wasn’t really part of the future of the Avengers.
Crossbones has been part of Captain America’s rogues gallery in the comics since 1989, usually allying himself with baddies like The Red Skull and HYDRA, and even playing a role in Steve Rogers’ assassination following the Civil War event. So naturally he was worthy enough to be pulled into the MCU for the latter two Captain America movies, but as Frank Grillo noted, the superhero franchise didn’t have big plans for the character beyond just causing a little bit of trouble either in service to HYDRA or on his own.
In fact, Brock Rumlow’s time suited up as Crossbones proper in the MCU was short-lived, as he died at the end of Captain America: Civil War’s Lagos sequence when he triggered his explosive vest in an attempt to kill Captain America, only for Scarlet Witch to elevate him in the air to contain the explosion, though that unfortunately led to some visiting Wakandans being killed. Grillo briefly reprised Rumlow in Avengers: Endgame when Captain America traveled back to the Battle of New York in 2012 to retrieve the Space Stone, but this was at a time when Rumlow was still working for HYDRA, so he wasn’t in his Crossbones attire.
Now, it is important to clarify that just because Frank Grillo thinks that Crossbones won’t be brought back to life doesn’t mean the character is gone from the MCU space entirely. Grillo confirmed last month that he recorded dialogue for the upcoming animated series What If… ?, which explores what would happen if major MCU moments unfolded differently. Grillo said he recorded “four or five episodes” over one or two days, and he’ll be recording more this month, although there’s been no word yet on which stories Brock Rumlow/Crossbones will appear in.
Still, it doesn’t sound like Frank Grillo is terribly sad about his time in the live-action MCU realm coming to a close. Back in June, he said he was “outgrowing that whole kind-of Marvel and superhero thing,” and his career was now on a different “trajectory.” So while Captain America villains like Zemo and Batroc the Leaper are returning for Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and there’s always the possibility that Red Skull might return one day since he’s still floating about elsewhere in the cosmos, we should consider Crossbones’ MCU story officially closed outside of exploring some alternate scenarios involving him.
As always, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more MCU-related updates. Right now, WandaVision is currently airing on Disney+ (use this link to sign up for the Mouse House’s streaming service), and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere on March 19. The next MCU movie on the docket is Black Widow on May 7, and find out what else this franchise is sending to the big screen with our Marvel movies guide.