Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger

It Is a Truth Universally Acknowledged That Sebastian Stan Is Being Wasted by the MCU

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Perhaps you do not follow me on Twitter but most of the time, I’m talking about I, Tonya. In fact, my bio says to “talk I, Tonya to me” because that movie is pretty much all I want to talk about.

So when Screenrant recently posted an article about the MCU wasting Sebastian Stan, my reaction was yes of course, because I have been writing about this vitally important issue since the dawn of time. Bring back his character of Jack Benjamin in Kings or let him have the Miami Vice show that he and Anthony Mackie want to do.

Just let Stan do something other than play Bucky Barnes since, in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s been on screen for less than an hour. Bucky is great—we love Bucky Barnes in this house—but even as Bucky, Stan hasn’t been given nearly enough to do, especially considering his popularity as an actor and Bucky’s fan-favorite status (not to mention the use of Bucky as an important plot device).

I agree with everything in Screenrant’s Stan rant. When Alex Leadbeater wrote that article, I had one thought: I’ve said this for the last year and finally am understood and vindicated. Not that I’m assuming Leadbeater saw my posts as motivation, that’s me saying a lot about myself—the under-use of Sebastian Stan is self-evident and a sentiment shared by many, many people. I’m just over here with my hands waving like “HELLO, I’VE BEEN YELLING ABOUT I, TONYA SINCE DECEMBER 5TH, 2017.” Please see my surfeit of I, Tonya merchandise for reference.

While the general public hasn’t seen Destroyer yet and my own review is embargoed for now, Sebastian Stan as Chris is maybe his best work yet. And that’s saying a lot, I have seen I, Tonya at least 15 times. Chris is in the movie for all of 10 minutes in total but his role is extremely important to the story and his performance is out of this world. This is the sort of message that needs to be broadcast to the general public about Sebastian Stan.

So yes, Alex (can I call you Alex?), we have the same opinion about my wonderfully talented fave but also I feel like we either need to join forces in bringing the brilliance of Sebastian Stan to the world or I may have to dub thee my enemy. Can doppelgängers in equal appreciation of Sebastian Stan co-exist in the same timeline? I hope so. Mainly because I’ve been telling everyone from strangers on the subway to the pigeons of New York City that he should have been nominated for his performance as Jeff Gillooly, and now it seems like folks are sleeping on Destroyer. We could be stronger together, Alex.

Basically, Alex and I get it. Are we going to be blessed with all new Sebastian Stan content in 2019 that is incredible? From what is scheduled on his IMDb page, yes. But that is also with the knowledge that Bucky Barnes could be dust in the wind and gone from the Marvel Cinematic Universe relatively soon (which no please, bring James Buchanan Barnes back for the duration of his multi-picture contract, Marvel, you cowards). While a Bucky & Falcon show would be a wild ride and a great showcase for Stan and Mackie’s talent, I worry that could come at the cost of no more appearances for them in the movie-verse side of the MCU.

Stan is one of the most talented actors in the MCU stable and for him to only have, roughly, 40 minutes of screentime is as confusing as it is a poor decision. Especially when Stephen Strange has an entire movie dedicated to him and a million lines in Avengers: Infinity War. (Bucky has 7. I counted.) What we really need is even more articles and efforts like Screenrant’s and my own here. The world needs to know the truth.

So listen, Alex, this is my decree: I think we should be friends and not mortal enemies who have to fight to the death because to encounter your doppelgänger is traditionally a harbinger of bad luck. We can break with tradition, Alex. There doesn’t have to be only one.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.