One of the most impressive signs of the MCU’s might occurred early in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As Cap and Black Widow make their way through a ship held captive by pirates, they’re stopped by the ring leader: Batroc the Leaper. To comic book fans, Batroc was one of the goofier characters in Cap’s rogues gallery, a Frenchman straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, endowed with the power of jumping really well. But in The Winter Soldier, Batroc was played by UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre, who proceeded to have a really cool action sequence with Cap.
“If that’s what the MCU can do with Batroc, imagine what they’ll do with Crossbones?” we all thought. Introduced in Captain America #359 as the Red Skull’s enforcer during writer Mark Gruenwald’s legendary run, Crossbones quickly established himself as a formidable counter to Cap, a rough-and-tumble gangster turned ruthless mercenary. So when Crossbones showed up as duplicitous SHIELD Agent Brock Lumlow in The Winter Soldier, played by b-movie stalwart Frank Grillo no less, fans were right to get their hopes up.
Grillo’s Lumlow does suit up as Crossbones in the sequel, Civil War. For about five minutes. And then he gets blown up, never to return again. Even lowly old Batroc got more respect, making a return appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
It sucks, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Talking with ComicBook.com, Grillo complained that they “never told a story” about his character. “Crossbones was there for a minute, but he was supposed to be there longer, then they went the direction they did,” he pointed out. “He’s on the screen for a very fucking short amount of time,” Grillo said. “I think there was more meat on the bone. I was disappointed, which is why I went over to DC.”
That last part is a bit of a surprise, as no official announcement has been made about Grillo’s casting. Rumors have him playing one of the Creature Commandos, the team of monsters who will be getting an animated series.
Even though he can’t get specific about what he’ll be doing for the Distinguished Competition, Grillo seems pretty confident that he won’t be bringing Crossbones back to the MCU. When asked if he ever sees himself coming back to the role, Grillo lets his frustration show. “I don’t think so,” he sighed, stumbling for more to say before finally declaring, “no.”
As irritated as he may be, Grillo does not seem to hold any ill will toward Marvel. “Kevin Feige knows a thing or two about making movies,” he said with a smile. Even those inclined to agree must admit that Crossbones’s absence has been felt not only in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but also in plans for Captain America: New World Order. Like Falcon and Winter Soldier, New World Order seems to draw heavily from the Gruenwald comics that spawned Crossbones.
Disappointing as his absence certainly is, at least we’ll always have Batroc, leaping away in our hearts.