So I've been thinking a little bit. Why not create a Winter Soldier spin-off film that establishes the previous character of the Winter Soldier? After all, Bucky is still trying to find out who he really is after his memories had been wiped out by HYDRA. With the amount of Marvel films to hit theaters through 2019, it remains to be seen how many films will star Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. We know that actor Sebastian Stan has signed a nine year picture deal with Marvel studios early 2014. Now that nine picture deal doesn't guarantee that Stan will be in nine Marvel films. What it does mean is that if Marvel were to ever need him for that many films in the future, Stan would have to star in the role that they need him for. So what kind of films could be involved in this nine picture deal?
Well for starters, Captain America: The First Avenger was certainly his first film as Steve Rogers’ best friend in the army. Captain America: The Winter Soldier would be his next feature film showcasing as an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Finally, as to be expected, Stan will be appearing in a much larger role in next years Captain America: Civil War. That now leaves six more films for Stan to star in moving forward if Marvel were to use him. So what other films could Stan potentially star in? Let’s go right down the list AFTER Captain America: Civil War.
Dr. Strange (2016): I honestly don't believe that no other Avenger will be in this film. Though not confirmed, this is most likely an origin story for the famous physician so I don't believe Bucky will have any reason to be here.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017): Most certainly not. Director James Gunn is quite happy about his ensemble of heroes and this film would be a great way to explore more backstories concerning the team members with the most rumors circulating Star Lord's father.
Untitled Spider-Man Film (2017): With SONY reaching a deal with Marvel, the famous wall crawler now gets to become an Avenger and will make his debut presumably in next summer's Captain America: Civil War. It has also been rumored that Iron-Man will be in this film perhaps "testing" him to see if he has what it takes to be an Avenger. This is another film that probably won't feature Bucky either as the main focus will definitely be the newest (and youngest) Avenger.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017): The second and perhaps final sequel for the mighty Thor. This film will most likely take place in Asgard as the word 'Ragnarok' translates to the end of the universe in Norse mythology. The film according to Kevin Feige, "..is a very important movie in phase three. We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and impacts everything that comes after." So far we know that the events of the film will lead into the Infinity Wars. If this film were just to take place in Asgard, it will most likely feature Thor and his Asgardian brethren in the movie. Will Barnes play a role in this film? Probably not.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (2018): Now here is an interesting film. While we won't likely know anything more about what takes place here until AFTER Thor: Ragnarok, you can bet that there will be a BIG cast for this film. So chances are we will see Sebastian Stan again and could he be playing a different character this time around (the new Captain America perhaps)?
Black Panther (2018): T'Challas' first appearance will be in next summer's Captain America: Civil War. Now, he will finally get a solo film adventure. This film will probably go into more detail of his backstory on when he became the Black Panther. We've already seen Andy Serkis play Ulysses Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so perhaps he will be the main antagonist in the movie. However, there is the potential of Sebastian Stan starring in this film simply because we will see both of these Marvel characters in Captain America: Civil War. What side these two heroes will be on at the conclusion of the film is still up in the air. It will be interesting to see if this Black Panther film is an origin story, a continuation of the events AFTER the previous films, or both. Don't count Stan out of this film just yet because I have a feeling that things are just starting to heat up.
Captain Marvel (2018): This is yet another film where we will be introduced to a brand new character in Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. The movie will have now given us another intergalactic hero to root for. Bucky will not be in this film but could the Guardians of the Galaxy play a role in this? Don't count them out here especially if Marvel plans on joining their universe with the Avengers.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 (2019): Yes, yes, and most definitely yes. This could very well be the final showdown between the Avengers and Thanos' army that he has built up to take them down. This film is so far ahead that it's hard to make assumptions as to who would be starring in this film so I'll just make this as simple an answer as possible: EVERYONE will be in this movie. This will be the movie that will conclude everything that has happened previously and will bring us a new team of superheroes to cheer for in future films.
Inhumans (2019): I'm just going to leave this blank and say undecided. For all we know this film could shift again as it was previously BEFORE Avengers: Infinity War Part 2.
Some of those films on the list will feature Bucky Barnes however the others have more questions that deserve answers. But let me briefly answer a question that I feel nobody seems to be asking: "What about a Winter Soldier spin-off film?"
Now I totally understand that Marvel has a plan and that plan is to have EVERY movie somehow connect with previous happenings of the other films. This is certainly a tough task to follow as it builds up an extreme amount of pressure for the directors to follow Kevin Feiges' lead (just ask Joss Whedon). While Marvel has done a tremendous job with their cinematic universe, can this continue to be successful moving forward? The simple answer will be a clear yes but each and every director will be limited on what they CAN and CANNOT do in the story they wish to tell.
But I have a solution. Why not go in the direction Star Wars is heading? Right now as it stands, Star Wars will have three films as part of a newer trilogy while also adding three or more spin-off films labeled as Star Wars: Anthology. These films should have no DIRECT relation to the newer trilogy. The first Anthology film is titled Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. This film will explain and showcase events that took place between Episodes III and IV. The movie will feature a very important mission that will display how the Rebels obtained the plans of the FIRST Death Star. The second rumored (and I say rumored because Disney has not made anything official) Anthology film will star our favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Where this film takes place is not confirmed much like the film itself. Like Obi-Wan always reiterates, "We must be patient."
My point to all of this is that Marvel SHOULD follow a timeline but I also feel like they should do what Star Wars plans to do and that is to create other films that do not have a (like I said before) DIRECT correlation toward the future films. Why not make a spin-off film for Black Widow or Hawkeye? Why not make a film that gives us more backstory on Nick Fury or Maria Hill leading S.H.I.E.L.D.? Why not show us how Bucky BECAME the Winter Soldier and the assassin that he once was? All of these adventures would be AMAZING to watch and could easily be thrown into the mix of Marvel movies.
If there's one spin-off film I'd prefer over everyone, it would be the ENTIRE backstory of the Winter Soldier. His character is truly unique and would give us many more reasons to love this comic book character. I cannot wait to see what Sebastian Stan will bring us in his role as Bucky Barnes in Captain America: Civil War. I have faith in Marvel that they will give us a very memorable character moving forward. Feige, I've got your back.
So what do YOU all make of this? Should Marvel go down the road that Star Wars is planning on traveling? Would you want to see spin-offs of other characters who haven't had their own film? Please share your thoughts and comment below!