Sebastian Stan is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” But unlike his character in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Stan plays a very different incarnation of Bucky Barnes in the present day sequel.
Zap2it had a chance to sit down with Stan and talk about returning to the Marvel movies, how he prepared for the role of the Winter Soldier and whether he would like to reprise the role of Bucky in TV shows or standalone movies.
Zap2it: At what point did you know you would be coming back again for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”?
Sebastian Stan: I knew literally two years after the first movie. I didn’t know right away. I mean, I had no confirmation until two years after. I’d always planned on it, I’d always hoped for it. There were things in the script for the first movie that kind of led me to believe that they wanted to go this way, but I didn’t know for sure.
Did you have any trouble switching gears from playing Bucky Barnes to the Winter Soldier?
It was all in the comic books. I mean, all I really had to do was, for this film, I just needed to concentrate on this is sort of the first time we’re being introduced to the Winter Soldier onscreen, so he needed to be seen as the dangerous sort of threatening weapon that he is against Captain America.
Taking everything else away that we know about Bucky and the Winter Soldier and sort of what happens, that was a very simple and direct thing that I needed to communicate, and then obviously with Marvel you’re always foreshadowing maybe something happening, maybe something not. And so I needed to kind of make sure to some extent that there was enough of something there for people who kind of recognized the same character when they saw it.
What did you read to prepare?
All of Edward Baker’s storyline. This script followed that very closely, the Russos followed that very closely and so that had the most information. That had the most depth of the whole thing.
Those of us have been following the movie have known for a while who the Winter Soldier is, but this movie is set up to have such a great reveal if you don’t know.
Which is crazy, because I think there are still some people out there who might not know that. Hopefully that’s going to have the same effect.
Do you think it’s integral for Captain America’s storyline to always have a bit of Bucky in it?
I mean, that’s his origin. That’s where he’s from. I know that there’s been various different ways that, in the comics, he’s gone on his own path. And then there’s also this unexplored time between Bucky — or rather, the Winter Soldier — sort of being this assassin the whole while Steve Rodgers was frozen. There’s that that hasn’t been explored. There’s many ways it could go. It could always tie in with Steve Rodgers, or it could also just have its own thing.
Would you like to see some of the unexplored time be explored, like in “Agent Carter” or in another movie or TV show?
I would say, in my opinion, that there’s enough stuff there for the Winter Soldier that they could do anything with on his own. I don’t know if that’s to his best benefit right now or not. I think there’s still, before any of that, there’s all this other stuff that involves Captain America that has yet to be explored.
Their story doesn’t end in this film. It still keeps going, so there’s plenty of other things that they could build on before they decide to build on anything just the Winter Soldier alone.
Would you have any interest in doing a standalone “Winter Soldier” film?
There’s no way I can answer those questions. I have no idea. Would I ever do it? For sure, in a second. I would do it tomorrow, but I don’t know. I can’t say. They’re doing something so well right now, Marvel. I have no idea. I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens in theaters on April 4.