As the conclusion to the Infinity Saga and one of the most hotly-anticipated blockbusters in history, Avengers: Endgame was always going to rely heavily on fan service and callbacks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s illustrious past. It must have been a nightmare in the scripting stage trying to cram everyone into the movie, but you can’t deny that writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely certainly managed to pull it off.
The time heist in particular opened the door for several unexpected cameos, including John Slattery’s Howard Stark, Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce and Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow, the latter of whom was last seen getting blown to smithereens during Captain America: Civil War‘s prologue.
However, in a new interview, Grillo admitted that he initially refused to return for Endgame because he was so unhappy about signing a seven-picture deal with Marvel Studios, only to be cast aside after just two brief supporting appearances in the Captain America franchise.
“The trajectory of Crossbones took a turn and he was out of the series really quickly, right? And I was a little pissed off about it because, you know, I signed a seven-picture deal with them. And it was like, ‘Oh, you’re going to be part of the Marvel Universe’, right?. And it didn’t happen. And so they called me and they said, ‘Look, we need you to come down for a week for Avengers’, and I’m like, ‘For what?’. And they go, ‘Well, we can’t…’. I’m like, ‘No, I’m not doing it’. So I hung up. I get a call back. I’m like, ‘I’m not coming. Leave me alone’. And like, who am I? Who am I, right?
My 22-year-old son said to me, ‘You should go and do Avengers’. I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, why should I go?’. ‘Because I’m telling you need to go’. He said, ‘I don’t care if you’re in the movie for ten seconds. It’s a part of history. It’s a big deal. It’s a big scene. It’s an important thing’. Everybody gets to kind of smile and go, ‘Oh my God!’. And that’s why I did it, because of my son, not because of the Russos.”
Obviously, Grillo’s son won out in the end, but it’s telling that he’s gone out of his way not to thank the Russo brothers. Of course, the 55 year-old will be back in Disney Plus animation What If…?, but the action star hasn’t been shy in admitting that he feels the MCU gave up on his character before maximizing the undoubted potential of Crossbones.
It’s not as if he’s struggling for work, though, with Hulu subscribers currently able to see Grillo opposite Mel Gibson in Boss Level, which is one of just eight movies he’s got coming out this year, but it must still sting if he was so reluctant to return for Avengers: Endgame, which went on to become the biggest box office hit ever.