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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continued the journeys of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, but it also introduced a number of new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe who could return at some point down the line This includes Captain America-turned-U.S. Agent John Walker and the shady Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. However, the show also subtly brought another Marvel Comics fan-favorite into the fold, and the actor who played him is indeed hoping to return to the MCU as a hero.
Veteran super soldier Isaiah Bradley was one of the new MCU characters to make their debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and, along with him, was his young grandson, Eli. Although the young man’s role was relatively small, Marvel fans likely know Eli eventually becomes a hero in his own right, as he takes on the moniker of Patriot. Elijah Richardson, who plays Eli, was fully aware of the character’s heroic journey when he signed on to play the role:
I did my research after I found out I got the role. I tried to figure out who Elijah Bradley was, and what relationships he might have with other people maybe in the Marvel Universe. I just took that into consideration when approaching the character.
Like many of his fellow Marvel actors, Elijah Richardson made sure to do his due diligence when it came to research. Based on his interview with The Direct, the up-and-coming actor isn’t quite sure what lies ahead for Eli in the MCU, but that hasn’t stopped him from hoping for more:
Honestly that’s kind of all it is, is hopes and dreams. I mean, yeah obviously, who doesn’t want to be a part of the MCU? Right? But I mean, we’ll see. It’s more of a we’ll see.
In the comics, Eli Bradley eventually gains superhuman abilities of his own through the use of an illegal street drug, though he initially claimed he received them after an emergency blood transfusion from his grandfather. Eventually, Eli joins with other young, legacy heroes and forms the Young Avengers.
Marvel Studios has yet to make any official announcement regarding Eli Bradley’s future, but there's definitely a firm chance he’ll return. For years, the studio has been putting the pieces in place for the MCU’s version of the Young Avengers. And the recent or upcoming introductions of newer characters like WandaVision’s Billy and Tommy (Wiccan and Speed) and Hawkeye’s Kate Bishop only indicate that the team could be coming sooner rather than later.
Even though Eli Bradley’s return is unclear at this point, it’s easy to assume Marvel had a purpose in introducing him to the franchise. We’ll have to wait and see how things pan out, but it’s great to know that Elijah Richardson is more than ready to answer the call should he be needed. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently streaming on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link.