If they had left Bucky completely out of the upcoming Marvel movie "The First Avenger: Captain America," I would not have been remotely surprised.

After all, Chris Nolan made the decision to completely ignore Robin in his modern take on Batman, convinced that there's no way to do it without people snickering, and sidestepping the issue altogether certainly hasn't hurt the way people view the Batman movies.

So if they had made this film without ever once referencing Bucky, it would have been one of those major creative adjustments that I would have understood.  Wouldn't necessarily be the choice I would make, but I would understand it.  It's hard to sell the idea of the underage sidekick for a superhero.  There's just too much pop culture that's made fun of the idea so mercilessly.

So hats off to Marvel for casting Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, who was too young to join the Army but old enough to suit up and fight alongside Captain America, and whose fate at the hands of the Red Skull marked a major turning point for many comic readers.  In recent years, new narrative choices have expanded the role of Bucky in the Marvel Universe, and word is Stan's signed for as many as six movies.

According to the always on-the-spot Borys Kit, Stan auditioned for the role of Captain America, and he must have made some impression on the producers.  The same thing happened with Tom Hiddleston on "Thor" after he auditioned as the title character, only to end up playing Loki.

The film starts shooing this summer in Europe, and Joe Johnston is directing, with an eye on a summer 2011 release.  The hunt for "Captain America" was big news for the last couple of months, and Chris Evans signed on only recently, so my guess is the rest of the cast is now falling into place around him as they gear up for production.  Hugo Weaving has been widely reported to have the role of The Red Skull, the main bad guy in the movie, although there's still no word on how the character will be handled visually.

Sebastian Stan is probably best known to teenage girls, looking at his filmography, with major roles on "Gossip Girl" and in films like "The Covenant" under his belt.  He just recently finished shooting Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," though, and he's also in the new horror film "The Apparition," which is shooting now, and audiences can see him even as we speak in "Hot Tub Time Machine."  He plays Blaine, the guy with the "Red Dawn" obsession who repeatedly beats Rob Corddry's ass so badly that at one point he loses a shoe.  He's one of those guys on the verge of being recognized, and this role could certainly help make that happen.

We'll have more for you as the film gets underway soon. 

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