There are a lot of rumors and theories spiraling around the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the most prominent of these rumors is that Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, won't survive the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Considering that many people thought Cap would bite the dust in Captain America: Civil War, and that Chris Evans's contract is about to expire, it wouldn't be that surprising if Steve did die in the upcoming film.
The big question then becomes: who could replace Steve as Captain America? While I hope Sam Wilson (Falcon) becomes the next on-screen Cap, it looks more and more likely that Bucky Barnes will take up the shield next. A recently released deleted scene from Civil War even shows Bucky briefly wielding the shield, before saying "I gotta get me one of those." The foreshadowing doesn't seem to stop with him.
Considering that Bucky didn't have many major story arcs as Captain America, Marvel may have to pick for straws for a story to use in Bucky's potential solo movie. At this point, Marvel may stop looking to base the movie's plot off of a comic arc, and base their next movie off of a particular outdated Captain America film...
'Captain America: Death Too Soon'
Few people have heard of the 1979 Captain America TV movie, which was the superhero's first on-screen appearance. Fewer people have heard of its sequel, Captain America: Death Too Soon, which was actually a rather interesting film. It quit relying on long action sequences and created a legitimately intriguing plot, which I would love to see remade with today's film technology.
The movie follows Captain America as he traces a mysterious drug that is rapidly speeding up the aging process of humans and animals, bringing them to the end of their life in just a matter of hours.
The mystery of the film is quite unique for a superhero film, and really puts you on the edge of your seat. Much of the film follows Cap as he investigates a mysterious city of people who want him to leave. As it turns out, many of them were forced by the villain to keep Captain America out so he would not discover that the entire city was being used as an experiment location for the drug. Many of the citizens were dying of rapid aging, and no one even knew.
The villain Miguel - played by Christopher Lee - was eventually found by Captain America. Towards the end of the film, the two get in a climactic fight, with Miguel trying to use the drug on Captain America, so as to end his life. In the end, Miguel's drug is used on himself and, in a matter of seconds, he ages and falls to the ground dead.
This could work as a phenomenal movie for Bucky. It doesn't rely on the Steve Rogers Captain America back story, and the mystery of it would make it a unique addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, the disrespect of the people in the experiment city towards Cap would make even more sense if it was Bucky Barnes rather than Steve Rogers. With Rogers dead, it would make sense that many people in the Universe would not be okay with another person taking up the shield.
Furthermore, the drug being used on people ages people rapidly. Bucky, on the other hand, was induced with a drug that makes him age much slower than others. These two concepts could counter each other, and could even add into Bucky's fear of death, considering that everyone he ever knew - including Steve Rogers - is now dead.
The end of the film could even offer Bucky the chance to counter his slow aging by giving him the chance to age at a normal pace, so as to live a normal life.
This could be a nagging urge for Bucky throughout the film, but by the end he realizes it is better to be Captain America, and to honor Steve, than it is to be a normal person. He gave up that life 80 years ago.
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While Marvel may not go down this route, it would be very interesting to see them reboot this old '70s Captain America movie. Death Too Soon was a very intriguing superhero movie, and I recommend you see it if you haven't already.
This theory assumes a lot, however. It assumes that Steve Rogers dies in Infinity War, that Bucky takes up the shield, and that a fourth Captain America gets green lit. There is no guarantee that this will happen, but I certainly hope that the fourth Captain America movie does happen, and is based on Captain America: Death Too Soon.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!