2019 became a definitive year for the Marvel fandom ever since the Avengers: Endgame premiere was turned into a phenomenon. All the stars and all the heroes assembled for the epic team-up against the Mad Titan, Thanos, in what can only be defined as a sensation for the fans. The gathering which featured a culmination of Hollywood A-listers from the past decade of MCU’s formative arc up to the Phase Three finale was filled to the brim with faces and names, each more infamous than the other.
And among such a celebrity affair, it would have been easy to miss one of the lesser popular Marvel characters, namely, Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones.
Frank Grillo Recalls Turning Down Avengers: Endgame Role
In one of Frank Grillo’s initial iconic appearances, a foreshadowing was made into Brock Rumlow’s comic identity which inherently pits the character against Captain America. The elevator scene soon became one of the most memorable action sequences arising from the Marvel canon and the scene was eventually recreated with the same actors during the Time Heist arc in Avengers: Endgame.
However, Grillo’s appearance which was deemed essential in that scene was almost never going to happen, as per an account from the actor. After a mishap with Marvel management, the actor turned against the idea of making a favorable cameo in Endgame which, in retrospect, he calls a “petulant” move on his part —
“There was supposed to be a lot more of Crossbones. I was the one character who I think should be in more of [MCU movies], and these other idiot characters are still there. I was being an a**hole, being a bit petulant.”
Frank Grillo’s eventual cameo was later made possible by the insistence of his son:
“He said, ‘This is going to be the biggest movie in the world,’ and he was right. And I had a beautiful time. They did the ten-year anniversary, Stan Lee was there, and I stood and went, ‘What an a**hole I am!’”
Avengers: Endgame would have fared well even if the elevator scene was skipped in favor of the expansive, elaborate plot of the film, but it has been unanimously agreed upon that Captain getting some well-earned retribution against Rumlow and his soldiers was a long-awaited victory.
Frank Grillo’s MCU Tenure as Bruck Rumlow aka Crossbones
The Marvel villain Crossbones who was first featured in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), played by actor Frank Grillo, later became an essential aspect of the film’s climactic finale when he revealed himself as a HYDRA agent. His villainous arc against Captain America then continued further with Captain America: Civil War (2016), where he transitioned fully from Brock Rumlow into Crossbones. In an interview with Comicbook, Frank Grillo said:
“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, y’know, I signed a seven-picture deal with them.”
The actor’s appearance, although occurred within the capacity of a subplot in both films, was initially meant to be stretched out across seven MCU films. However, with Endgame closing off the chapters for multiple heroes and villains from the Infinity Saga, Grillo felt betrayed by the production for not fulfilling their end of the seven-movie deal. So, when the production’s call arrived, asking for the actor to take out a week for filming an Endgame scene, the actor, under a fit of hurt pride, turned down the cameo role.
Avengers: Endgame is available for streaming on Disney+.