The old guard of the MCU has largely ended their journeys in the franchise. Iron Man and Black Widow are dead. Thor has left Earth. Hawkeye has retired, and Captain America is an old man. Cap's friends Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are getting their own Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, in what many fans thought was going to be their swan song, but John Nania, who works as a stunt double for Sebastian Stan's Bucky, hinted during an interview for The Screen Forum Podcast that the character is not done with the MCU yet.
"I don't think the Winter Soldier is quite over with in the Marvel universe, there's still a lot more to ride out on that one, and I look forward to being part of it."
The character of Bucky Barnes was introduced early on in the MCU, in Captain American: The First Avenger as Steve Rogers' best friend, where things ended with him seemingly plummeting to his death. The character reappeared as the Winter Soldier in the sequel, a brainwashed super-assassin who was finally reminded by Steve of his past life.
Bucky's friendship with Cap and his past as the Winter Soldier led directly to the events of Captain America: Civil War, and to get away from all the violence, the character retired from active duty to live out the rest of his days in Wakanda.
Then Thanos came calling, and Bucky had to strap on his metal arm once again to protect Earth. Avengers: Endgame ended with Bucky and Sam reunited with Steve, who passed his shield and the mantle of Captain America on to Sam. The upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will pick things up from there, as Bucky and Sam work together to uncover the evil machinations of a newly returned Baron Zemo.
Since Bucky was always defined by his relationship with Captain America, there was a general understanding that once Steve Rogers retired, Bucky would be exiting with him. But it seems there is a future for Bucky in the MCU without Steve, even though Sam Wilson is the new Captain America.
We can get a sense of what that future might be from the comics, where Bucky traveled to Wakanda and assumed a new superhero identity as the White Wolf. This identity was referenced in the MCU, where we see a group of Wakandan children calling Bucky "White Wolf", so the stage is set for the character to take on a new superhero identity separate from his previous relationship with Captain America.
Perhaps audiences will get to see more of the White Wolf in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when the show finally arrives on Disney+, as we discover what Sam and Bucky have been up to since the end of the last Avengers movie.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier features Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. The series debuts on Disney+ in fall 2020. The Screen Forum brings us these quotes about the future of The MCU and The Winter Soldier.