What seemed like a forgone conclusion last week has now been confirmed, as Frank Grillo (The Grey, Warrior) is now signed to play henchman Crossbones in upcoming Marvel sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In Variety’s scoop, they also note that Grillo will be joined by Marvel regulars Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Cobie Smulders (SHIELD Agent Maria Hill) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury). In addition, Sebastian Stan is now also confirmed to be returning from the dead as Bucky Barnes to assume his rightful place as the titular Winter Soldier.
All pretty standard really, it was already assumed we’d be getting some shared-universe cameos out of this deal (save for Robert Downey Jr. the Marvel primaries are locked into multi-picture deals. Interestingly enough, Variety’s piece makes no mention of Hugo Weaving returning for Red Skull. Not a surprise considering Weaving’s on record saying he has no desire to revisit the character. While his presence will be no doubt missed, Grillo’s been delivering good work for so long that I’m excited to see what he’ll be doing in front of a tentpole audience.
With Weaving supposedly done as Skull, it’ll prove interesting to see if Marvel recasts or moves on to another main villain. Winter Soldier was never the one calling the shots in the comic, and I highly doubt Crossbones will be leading the charge. Which leaves a major primary yet to be cast. With production revving to meet that April 4, 2014 release date you can expect some major developments to unfold soon.