(Warning - potential SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War lie below. Proceed with whatever level of caution your natural SPOILER aversion suggests...)
Now, with all the leaked images from the set of Captain America: Civil War that we've seen over the past few weeks, it might seem as though we can already guess a whole lot of the movie's plot, more than a year out from its release. In particular, the multiple glimpses we've had of a certain key foe from Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Crossbones, as played by Frank Grillo - have seemed to suggest a central role for the villain.
What's more, that made a whole lot of sense in the context of the original Civil War comic-book story-line on which the movie is set to be (loosely) based, in which Crossbones plays a key role in the end of Cap's involvement in the story...by killing him. Or, rather, by appearing to kill him, while in fact acting as a distraction for the real murderer - a brainwashed Agent 13 a.k.a. Sharon Carter.
From the sounds of a few of Captain America: Civil War's leading cast members, though, that could all be set to change. Y'see, it seems as though:
Crossbones Might Not Make It Out of Civil War('s Opening Sequence) Alive
The thing about Crossbones' appearance on Civil War's Atlanta set, y'see, is that we'd all kind of assumed that it meant he'd be acting as one of Cap's primary enemies in the movie, providing a super-villainous outlet to act in contrast to the movie's de-facto antagonist...Tony Stark.
As it turns out, though, those scenes we've already seen - in which Crossbones and Cap go toe-to-toe in what very much seems to be Wakanda - might just be less the character's introduction as a super-villain, and more the point at which he meets his maker.
Frank Grillo, y'see, just posted this on his Instagram account:
Which, it seems, makes it pretty darned clear that he won't be appearing in the rest of the movie - what with that whole #Wrapped deal at the end there.
What's more, Chris Evans - Cap himself - responded to Grillo's post on Twitter, emoting:
Which...sure makes it sound like Grillo isn't coming back.
Wait, Is Crossbones Really Going to Die?
Y'see, it's also entirely possible that this whole thing is a giant ruse to throw us off the scent of Crossbones' true role in the movie - and it's certainly plausible that Evans' tweet is actually a whole lot less of an obituary than it initially seems.
That being said, though, much of what we've seen so far of that Cap/Crossbones fight had the look not of a vital third act fight-sequence, but of an early scene in which the new Avengers are offering aid to the people of Wakanda post Hulk/Hulkbuster mauling, before being violently interrupted by Crossbones.
Which, if that proves to be true, might well suggest that a) Crossbones isn't going to make through too much of the film, and b) that his fight with the Avengers could well be the spark that sets off Civil War...and draws the Black Panther into the fight by destroying a large chunk of Wakanda.
Which would make a whole lot more sense if Crossbones either just died doing something terrible, or was watched by millions seemingly being killed by Cap, thus destroying his credibility.
Or, in other words?
We're going to miss you, Frank...