Frank Grillo's costumed killer Crossbones is taking another shot at the Marvel Cinematic Universe in What If...?, the first animated series from Marvel Studios. Grillo's S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Brock Rumlow revealed himself as a HYDRA infiltrator in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he's left mangled by an encounter with the Falcon (Sam Wilson). Rumlow returned in Captain America: Civil War to get his revenge against star-spangled Avenger Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), setting off the explosive chain of events that would see the world's governments enact the superhero-patroling Sokovia Accords. After his third appearance in Avengers: Endgame, made possible by a trip back in time, Grillo reveals his next MCU return comes in What If...?
"I'm in it," Grillo told Collider. "I've been doing it."
After casting doubts on another superhero role last summer, the Purge star says he was eager to revisit Crossbones for Marvel Studios and chief Kevin Feige.
"If the president calls and says, 'I want you to come to the White House,' you don't ask why — you just kind of get on a plane and go to the White House," Grillo said. "CAA called, my agents called and said, 'They're doing this thing, What If...?, and they have four or five episodes planned out, you can do it all in one [day].' I'm like, 'Whatever, I don't care what the money [is], it doesn't matter, yes I'm going to do it. Absolutely. All day, every day.'"
After recording "four or five episodes" across one or two days in 2020, Grillo is due back to record "a few more." In December 2019, Feige revealed Marvel was working on both a 10-episode first season and a 10-episode second season.
"I recorded that probably almost a year ago, and I'm sure with COVID and everything, everything was put on hold, but now it's come back around. I literally don't know anything more about it," Grillo said. "I don't even remember what I was doing, I don't even remember what I said in the shows, but I think it's gonna be cool. My little guy, my son Rio — he's not so little, he's 13 — he's a crazy Marvel fan, he can't wait to see it. He can't wait."
In What If...?, Grillo is among the many Marvel actors reprising their roles from the live-action feature films. Inspired by the Marvel comic book of the same name, the animated series explores "what if" scenarios happening in alternate realities throughout the Multiverse — with plenty of surprise cameos from across the 23-movie MCU.
"You're just kind of interpreting it yourself and reading off the page and trying to stay into the character of Crossbones. They set up this scenario and we just kind of play around until we get it," Grillo said about the first recording sessions, which took place with a script and unfinished footage. "And then they show a little bit sometimes, but you know Marvel, they don't wanna show you too much. Especially me, I'm a big mouth, I've been scolded many times."
Previously announced Captain America trilogy stars lending their voices to the series include Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Duggan), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), and Stanley Tucci (Dr. Abraham Erskine).
The first season of Marvel's What If...? premieres this summer on Disney+.
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