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Why Sebastian Stan Is Grateful He Didn't Land This MCU Role

When Sebastian Stan first stepped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Bucky Barnes, fans wondered whether he'd ever get the chance to suit up as the infamous Winter Soldier, or someday don the mantle of Captain America. 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger" left the door open for both options as Bucky briefly wields Cap's shield during the train fight before falling into the icy abyss. Missing, presumed dead, he would later return in 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" as the titular brainwashed assassin. His story only gets deeper in "Captain America: Civil War" before fighting alongside the Avengers in "Infinity War" and "Endgame." 

2021, though, really put Bucky in the spotlight, with Sebastian Stan starring next to Anthony Mackie in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" on Disney+. The focus of the series concerns who should be the next Captain America, now that the world thinks Steve Rogers is dead. It's briefly suggested that Bucky could take the shield for himself before Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is the one who finally suits up in the stars and stripes.

All this is to say that Bucky has had a fascinating journey in the MCU, and "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" really puts his trauma under the lens. But Sebastian Stan was originally in the running for a completely different Marvel role, and he's grateful that he didn't land it.

Sebastian Stan is glad he didn't play Captain America

A new book titled "The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" explores how the MCU has become the wildly successful franchise that it is today, looking at various decisions made by studio executives over the years. Per Comic Book Resources, the book points out that Sebastian Stan screen tested for Steve Rogers, originally, but when Chris Evans was cast, his acting was strong enough to earn him the role of Bucky.

Stan himself explained that he's glad he didn't land the Captain America role, and that Kevin Feige convinced him to play Bucky by demonstrating the character's full story arc, all the way through Ed Brubaker's recreation of the former sidekick as the menacing Winter Soldier. After this, Stan says, "I was completely taken with that character," and went on to say, "I definitely want to be clear about this: I am extremely grateful I got this role and not the Captain America role." 

The actor also added "I looked at it like it was meant to be." 

Although Steve Rogers has plenty of interesting layers underneath his heroic exterior, there's arguably more in Bucky's traumatic past for Sebastian Stan to dig into with his performance, and following his development in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," it'll be exciting to see where Marvel's "White Wolf" ends up next.