Earlier tonight, The Grey and Warrior's Frank Grillo flaunted whatever confidentiality agreement I might assume an actor in contract negotiations should observe and tweeted:
See Ya LA. It was a a good trip. Marvel was a lot of fun. Be cool if it works out. #CaptainAmerica.
— frank grillo (@FrankGrillo) October 22, 2012
Tapping Grillo and Captain into Twitter yielded a bunch of reports stemming from this original comment; trying Grillo and Marvel led me to an earlier tweet, posted on Saturday:
@brianmbendis Have it on reliable authority that Frank Grillo is THIS CLOSE to getting the role of Crossbones in the Marvel movies
— Matthew Aaron Show (@MattAaronShow) October 20, 2012
…and, to be fair, I spotted a reference to the tweet on IGN before my research was done, too.
Note that this second tweet refers to a general Marvel movies deal, not a Cap specific one. That's the way they do it at Marvel, of course. They like to cover themselves.
What we have here looks like the fairly rare case of an actor corroborating an earlier report by a third party without any of the trade papers getting involved anywhere along the line. All seems pretty plausible as a result.
So it certainly does seem to me like Marvel are shopping for a Crossbones for Captain America 2 and beyond and that Grillo is the best looking model in the shop.
I'm not an expert on the character's convoluted comic book backstory, but Crossbones seems to have been a villainous type from the start, and as part of a/the Red Skull's lot, a good hanger-on to take up the mantle of Big Bad for this sequel – at least until The Winter Soldier of the title is thawed out, fixed up and sent out onto the scene.
Expect to see Grillo's twitter feed jump through hoops should the deal come through.