‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s Sebastian Stan on the Evolution of Winter Soldier’s Arm Prosthetics
Sebastian Stan is best known for playing the Winter Soldier in the MCU. His popularity is at an all-time high because of him starring alongside Anthony Mackie in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The Winter Soldier, whose actual name is Bucky Barnes, is best known for his prosthetic left arm. It has accompanied him since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which came out in 2014.
And just like his character, the prosthetic arm has gone through a lot of changes over the years—going from a metallic arm made by Hydra to the current vibranium arm gifted to him by Black Panther.
Evolution Of The Prosthetic Arm
We first saw Stan in the MCU in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) as James “Bucky” Barnes. A friend of Steve Rogers, he saves the tiny Rogers from a violent man during a fistfight in an alley.
But his part in the movie was short, and it was only in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) that we got to see more of Barnes.
Barnes was brainwashed and trained to be a deadly assassin by Hydra to act as the evil organization’s fist. The metallic prosthetic arm was just one of the work that Hydra had done on him.
The arm had a communist red star imprinted on it, and the brainwashed Barnes used it to complete multiple missions for Hydra. One of these missions was to kill Howard and Maria Stark and steal a case of Super Soldier Serum.
Later on, Tony Stark learns of the truth behind his parent’s death and goes after Barnes, whom Captain America is protecting.
The following clash results in Ironman using his Unibeam to blow off Barnes’ bionic arm, who then decides to be frozen until a cure for his brainwashing can be found.
Barnes then spends two years without a left arm in Wakanda and is eventually gifted a vibranium arm by Black Panther. The arm was designed by Shuri, the princess of Wakanda and sister of T’Challa. Barnes is still using the same arm.
Stan Prefers The Old Metallic Arm
Unlike how dexterous and mobile the arm is in the movies, it’s very hard to work with while filming. When talking to BBC Radio 1, Stan shared about filming with the signature metallic Winter Soldier arm.
The "arm" was made of a very hard metal and it made movement difficult. But it also brought about a distinct gait and movement to the character. The actor said that he refused to wear a less shiny and more comfortable arm because it wouldn’t look the best.
As for the new vibranium arm, Stan said it’s much more flexible and was one piece unlike the previous one which was separated into two pieces. But despite the comfort the newer arm provides, the actor says that he prefers the old one because of its looks.
I still find myself sometimes catering to the old one because it just had such a specific shine to it and it was so iconic in the comic book.
However, the days of uncomfortable shooting are likely over for Stan as his character is equipped with the much more advanced vibranium arm now.