There's not all that long to go until Marvel's smash hit Captain America: Civil War lands on DVD and Blu-ray, bringing with it a whole host of deleted scenes and special features when it releases next month.
But Entertainment Weekly is ahead of the curve as usual, releasing an exclusive first look at one of the deleted scenes from Civil War. The scene is a short, 30-second sequence cut from the Leipzig Airport Battle, complete with green screen and an unfinished CGI War Machine (Don Cheadle). Check it out below!
It's a nice little fight sequence, even if only because it highlights that, even 70-odd years later, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) can still fight in sync as soldiers.
Bucky's use of Cap's shield is definitely the most interesting part, as not many others have the trained ability to use the vibranium shield in battle — certainly not to the extent that Steve can. Indeed, the comics Bucky muses that it's only because of his metal arm that he can manipulate the shield, possessing a strength to rival that of Cap.
Falcon (Anthony Mackie) flies in too, to return the shield to Steve, a nice little team up between the three in contrast to the gentle ribbing that we saw between Falcon and Bucky in Civil War.
But it's Bucky's line — "I gotta get me one of those" — that is the really interesting part of this deleted scene.
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'I Gotta Get Me One Of Those'
Anyone with a passing familiarity with Marvel Comics will likely pick up on the subtext here. After being brought back as the Winter Soldier in 2005 by Ed Brubaker, Bucky Barnes later picked up Cap's shield and became Captain America at Tony Stark's suggestion, following Steve Rogers's death in the Civil War epilogue.
When Steve Rogers returned in Captain America: Reborn, he convinced Bucky to keep using the Captain America title, and he himself retires as Captain America following the events of Siege, leaving Bucky holding the shield. After a brief hiatus from the role due to a controversy surrounding his time as the brainwashed Winter Soldier, Bucky again takes up the Captain America mantle, which he fights under until his apparent death at the hands of Sin in Fear Itself.
Secretly saved from death by Nick Fury by use of the Infinity Formula, Bucky again returns as covert operative the Winter Soldier, and he's still fighting under that banner today. Indeed Fury, Bucky and Natasha Romanova/Black Widow allowed Rogers to believe Bucky dead for quite some time after Fear Itself, as a means of persuading the First Avenger to pick up the shield as Captain America again.
So, the question we have to ask is:
Why Was This Cut?
It's a cute little scene, and at 30 seconds long it wasn't exactly a screen-time saver. So why was it cut? Was it because it would be giving too much away? There's already been intense speculation about either Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson (Falcon) picking up Cap's shield in the future, but this is the first time we've really had a hint toward this in the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself.
The Winter Soldier, Civil War and Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo, alongside their screenwriting collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, are known for running a very tight ship in the production process. For their movies, very little makes it into the finalized shooting script that isn't entirely necessary to the movie.
So if this seemingly-throwaway line made the shooting script, why didn't it make it into the final cut? Perhaps it was removed because it was too much of a hint toward Steve Rogers shuffling off the mortal coil in the upcoming major MCU event Avengers: Infinity War, with Bucky taking up the title in the aftermath? Or, on the other side of the coin, perhaps it was removed so as to not get fans excited about something that isn't going to happen, like we're doing now.
Will We Ever See Bucky-Cap?
So, will Bucky get himself one of those? The Russo brothers have teased that the MCU might be looking for a successor to the Captain America title sometime down the road, as Steve Rogers has pretty much discarded that particular identity following the events of Civil War. As Joe Russo told Huffpost in a new interview:
"I think [Steve Rogers] dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity. [It's] him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making."
But there's a sticking point here — Bucky would have to earn that accolade first. In the comics, he takes up the mantle to honor his dead best friend, and as some means of atoning for his past.
But, though Civil War did begin to set Bucky on the path to redemption, truly he's the one with red in his ledger when it comes to the MCU right now. Even if Steve Rogers falls in Infinity War, will Bucky be worthy to step up and take his place? Captain America isn't just a code name — he's a symbol. And the only thing Bucky represents right now is an assassin on the run from the government, and the murderer of Howard and Maria Stark.
It's also worth noting that Cap's shield is now firmly bent, bowed, broken and in the hands of Tony Stark, who you can bet isn't going to be at all keen about handing it over to the man who murdered his parents — especially after the events of Civil War.
Where Bucky goes from here all hinges on Black Panther and Infinity War. As for whether we'll see him picking up the shield permanently at some point, right now it's anybody's guess. We wouldn't count it out, but he's got a long way to go before he can earn that specific title.
Do you think Bucky Barnes will become Captain America at some point? Sound off in the comments below!