If the Marvel Cinematic Universe had announced its intentions to expand onto television a little sooner, then surely there would have been a place for Frank Grillo’s Crossbones to appear in at least one of the shows. After all, the actor is a proven action star with lifelong martial arts training that also happens to be ripped as hell even at 55 years old, while Brock Rumlow had a direct connection to Captain America and a really cool costume to boot.
Grillo admitted shortly after Avengers: Endgame was released that he still had five movies left on his contract with Marvel Studios, but it doesn’t sound like there are any plans for Kevin Feige to use up those options. Indeed, despite recently confirming that he’d be voicing Crossbones in multiple episodes of upcoming animated series What If…?, it seems as though the Kingdom star isn’t waiting by the phone.
“They’re done with me,” he said. “Because of the way the stories wound up being told and just how big the stories became, the Crossbones of it wasn’t really part of the future of the Avengers.”
It’s not like his premature exit has kept him out of work, though, and Grillo has no less than six movies set for release before the end of 2021 including Groundhog Day-inspired actioner Boss Level opposite Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis’ latest sojourn into VOD sci-fi Cosmic Sin. The guy clearly loves to keep himself busy, but you can’t help but feel as though there was so much more the MCU could do with Crossbones.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would have been an ideal place for him to return given his HYDRA affiliation and ties to Bucky Barnes as well as Steve Rogers, but it appears that ship has sailed. Then again, with plenty of wiggle room still left in Grillo’s multi-picture contract, it can’t be completely ruled out that Crossbones could be brought back one day in the future.