It was but a week ago when Chris Evans was announced as the lead in The First Avenger: Captain America, putting an end to weeks of casting chaos. Featured in said chaos was Sebastian Stan, a relative unknown under serious consideration for the role of super soldier Steve Rogers up to the eleventh hour. Stan may have lost out on the role of a lifetime to Evans, but according to Heat Vision, Marvel Studios and director Joe Johnston have prepared a lovely consolation prize for the Gossip Girl frequenting actor: they have awarded Stan the role of sidekick Bucky Barnes.
The Barnes character has quite the labyrinthine backstory in the comic mythology, which you can read about after the break.
Too young to enlist, teenage orphan James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes thrived in a token role in the United States Army, during which time he discovered the patriotic secret identity of soldier Steve Rogers. At only fifteen, Bucky took up the shield and fought alongside the captain throughout World War II against those evil Nazis, only to die in the closing days of battle. In 2005, the character was resurrected for the modern Captain America issues as Winter Soldier, a covert assassin. No word yet on whether the Winter Soldier storyline will make it into the film.
Most recently seen in Hot Tub Time Machine, Stan’s career seems to be on the rise. There are few upcoming franchises with quite the profile of Captain America, and Stan will be seen Darren Aronofsky’s sure-to-be-great Black Swan later this year. I believe Evans and Stan are the only locks so far, but Hugo Weaving seems to be the man for the villainous role of Red Skull, while Keira Knightley, Alice Eve, and Emily Blunt have been rumored for the female lead.
Director Johnston said that plans dictated they start shooting in June to ensure readiness for the July 22, 2011 release date. They’ve got a couple months, so it may be a moment yet before we bear witness to a full, official playbill.