Crossbones lives! Sort of. Actor Frank Grillo, whose Marvel character Brock Rumlow/Crossbones was killed off in the 2016 movie Captain America: Civil War, will make an appearance in next year’s Avengers 4 in a flashback, which seems to confirm speculation over a rumored plot involving time travel.
In episode 241 of the podcast UFC Unfiltered, actor Frank Grillo confirms his brief return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers 4.
“He makes an appearance in the next Avengers movie,” Grillo said. “But it’s a flashback.”
While this would be the death sentence for any contracted Marvel actor, Grillo humorously adds, “I’m allowed to say whatever I want because I’m never doing another Marvel movie,” citing his age of “117 years old.”
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, fans heavily speculate Avengers 4 will deal with time travel, as several actors were spotted on the film’s set wearing older versions of their costumes (notably Chris Evans, who was seen wearing his fugly pajama costume from 2012’s The Avengers).
There’s also the Time Stone, one of the powerful Infinity Stones that can control and manipulate time, though the stone was seen burned to a crisp in the end of Avengers: Infinity War. And also BARF, Tony Stark’s hilariously-named, super expensive AR that can recreate memories from the brain.
There’s also the (unlikely) possibility Crossbones will kill Captain America. Chris Evans is all but confirmed to be done with Marvel, with Avengers 4 as his final film. He recently tweeted about his last day shooting, an “emotional” day that some read as a goodbye for the character. (Evans later said at a convention appearance that he didn’t mean to imply Cap’s death, but as a culmination of eight years of work.)
In the comics, Bucky Barnes, currently the Winter Soldier (and played by Sebastian Stan), takes over as the new Captain America for a brief time after Cap is killed by Crossbones. Stan still has several Marvel movies left in his contract, which is fueling speculation that Bucky will take over as Captain America for a potential new trilogy.
Avengers 4 will be released in theaters on May 3, 2019.