Marvel Cinematic Universe uses the “fake-out death” trick so often, it’s hard to emotionally react when a character meets their demise (because there’s every chance we’ll see them resurrected somewhere down the line). For example, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff bit the dust in Avengers: Endgame, but rumors of potential returns for Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson began the second the Saga ended.
Nick Fury, Janet Van Dyne, Groot, Pepper Potts, Bucky Barnes, and Gamora all ‘died’ onscreen, only to be brought back, often in the space of the same movie. Agent Coulson was murdered in The Avengers, but went on to headline seven seasons of his own TV shows; Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was kiled and been brought back so often, it’s become a running joke.
It lessens the dramatic stakes of the entire franchise as a result, but we’re hearing from sources — the same ones who told us the project was in development long before it was officially confirmed — that Captain America 4 will reportedly result in the death of a major MCU character, although we can’t confirm who it is.
It’s not going to be Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, and the star-spangled sequel is at such an early stage that we don’t even know who’s going to be part of the ensemble. However, having been part of MCU for a decade already, perhaps Sebastian Stan’s days as Bucky are numbered.
If he doesn’t return between now and whenever Captain America 4 is released, it’ll mark his tenth outing in the shared superhero mythology, which sounds like a nice even number to draw a line under his tenure. Of course, this is entirely speculative, and we won’t be finding out the answer for a long time.