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Frank Grillo’s son pushed him to return as Crossbones in the MCU

Frank Grillo on the red carpet
Frank Grillo’s son talked him into reprising his role as Crossbones. Pic credit: ©Imagecollect.com/Carrie-nelson

Frank Grillo had refused to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe until his son prompted him to make a comeback by stating it’s “a part of history.”

The MCU is known for having some actors returning after a long time away. Yet Frank Grillo, who played Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones in Captain America the Winter Soldier, wasn’t sure he’d be up for a return visit.

Luckily, we have Grillo’s son to thank for persuading the 55-year-old actor to return to the role. 

Crossbones has a long history with MCU

In the comics, Brock Rumlow is a mercenary who becomes the right-hand man to the Red Skull as Crossbones. Fiercely loyal to his boss, Crossbones clashes with Captain America on numerous occasions.

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Rumlow first appears as a loyal agent of SHIELD. Unfortunately, it turns out he’s really one of the many Hydra agents embedded within SHIELD. 

The character’s most famous moment is when he and other agents try to subdue Captain America (Chris Evans) in a huge elevator fight. Cap manages to beat them down to escape. 

Rumlow is badly scarred in the movie’s finale when he’s onboard a crashing Heli-Carrier.

He then makes a comeback in Captain America: Civil War, now bearing a mask matching his comic book counterpart.

When Crossbones activates a bomb, the Scarlet Witch sends him flying into the skies as he explodes. This action helps kick off the Registration that tears the Avengers apart. 

Rumlow then returns as part of the time-travel adventure in Avengers: Endgame. Set right after Loki’s defeat, Cap once more gets on an elevator with Rumlow and other hidden Hydra agents.

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Instead of a fight, Cap is able to escape with Loki’s scepter by using his knowledge of the future to make them all think he’s on their side with a “Hail Hydra.”

Crossbones
Frank Grillo as Crossbones in Civil War Pic credit: Marvel

Frank Grillo angered by MCU bosses: Refused to return as Crossbones

While promoting his new movie Boss Level, Grillo revealed he was against a return to the MCU until his son talked him into it. 

Grillo said he’d been angered with the MCU bosses when they appeared to write Crossbones out of the franchise. He explained that when asked, he refused “to come down for a week for Avengers.” Thankfully, when his son got wind of the situation, he encouraged his old man to jump onboard.

The trajectory of Crossbones took a turn and he was out of the movie. He’s out of the series really quickly. Right. And I was a little p****d off about it because, y’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. 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.’ And like… who am I? Who am I, right? My son, 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 10 seconds. It’s a part of history. It’s a big deal.

Wasting Crossbones 

Grillo’s complaints are notable given how the MCU has been surprisingly dismissive of some Captain America villains. The Red Skull was defeated in the first Cap movie before being revealed as the Guardian of the Soul Stone in Avengers Infinity War.

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Also, Arnim Zola was reduced to a simple scientist before turning into a living computer in Winter Soldier before being destroyed. Longtime Cap foe Batroc the Leaper was used in a brief fight scene at the start of Winter Soldier.

However, Helmut Zemo was not only critical to the events of Civil War but the character will be returning in the coming Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. 

Grillo seems more upset in how he believed Crossbones would have a larger overall role in the MCU rather than be killed off so quickly.

However, the actor will be providing his voice for Marvel’s coming What If? animated series. This may include alternate takes on Crossbones and give Grillo a chance to make the character as tough as he should have been.

A long-time freelance writer with a major love for movies, TV, books...read more

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