Now this is more like it! After running fans through the metaphorical ringer for nearly an eternity over the casting of Captain America, Marvel Studios and director Joe Johnson aren’t kidding around anymore regarding casting their hotly anticipated 2011 summer tentpole “First Avenger: Captain America.”
And bingo-bango, after little-to-no fuss, Marvel has found their Bucky Barnes in 26-year-old Sebastian Stan. The actor, who briefly had his name tossed around during Cap casting whirlwind, has been confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog as the man destined to don the character’s not un-Lone Ranger-like blue and red garb.
According to the article, Stan, who played Carter Baizen on “Gossip Girl” and can currently be seen projected on the silver screen as the antagonist in “Hot Tub Time Machine,” has agreed to the studio’s terms, which include an option for “five or six films” – probably a routine contract stipulation, but somewhat intriguing given the fact that Bucky famously took a one-way trip on an explosive drone plane in the latter days of WWII courtesy of Baron Zemo. He was later resurrected in 2005 by writer Ed Brubaker, becoming the brainwashed Winter Soldier, but it seems somewhat unlikely that the film(s) will wind up taking the same convoluted detour. However, at the very least, this could mean that he may just survive “First Avenger: Captain America.”
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. For the initiated, Bucky Barnes was an orphaned teenage army brat who grew to become his U.S. military camp home’s unofficial mascot, before developing a serious case of hero-worship for the star-spangled avenger. After uncovering his idol’s secret identity, he was befriended and extensively trained by Cap in the finest methods of Nazi-stomping known to man, eventually becoming his loyal trusted sidekick. The duo remained inseparable until the closing days of WWII when, well, you know … Ka-boom!
While Stan is a tad on the older side – especially opposite Evans, who’s only three years his senior – he does undeniably have that perfect idealistic, happy-go-lucky look necessary to pull off the role. And before you scoff at his teen CW soap background, keep in mind that he recently wrapped a role in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” which is at least evidence of some acting chops (Aronofsky isn’t known for hiring light-weights.)
But then, I’m pretty sure that it’s not going to take Shakespearean-level talent to convincingly crack wise and beat the ever-lovin’ stuffin’ out of goose-stepping nogoodniks while wearing a silly costume. So, while this may not be the most exciting or shocking press release, it’s also not a disheartening one, and I’m fairly certain that Sebastian Stan will be able to perform swimmingly.
As a side-note, Deadline, when reporting on this same story, also briefly mentioned that the studio has recently tested Keira Knightley, Alice Eve and Emily Blunt (who almost had the Black Widow role in “Iron Man 2”) for Cap’s love interest Peggy Carter. So expect another announcement to filter down into the Internet mighty soon.
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.