Of all the world premieres that worked fans into a frenzy during the live-action panel at Disney's annual D23 Expo on Saturday — the never-before-seen concept art of Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel's Doctor Strange, the first look at Emma Watson's Belle in 2017's live-action Beauty and the Beast, the announcement that Orlando Bloom would return for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the dazzling footage from The Jungle Book that earned a standing ovation, and the news of the actors who will fight alongside Felicity Jones in Rogue One — the first footage from Captain America: Civil War dwarfed all others.
And amid all the bone-crunching action and eye-popping visuals, a single piece of dialogue quickly exploded on Twitter: "He remembered you. Your pal, your buddy, your Bucky."
That line, delivered by Crossbones (Frank Grillo) to Captain America (Chris Evans), spoke to the most popular pairing in the Captain America movies, the one between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). But why do audiences cling so tightly to the relationship between Cap and his one-time best friend turned mortal enemy turned... something else entirely? Chris Evans has two theories.
First: It speaks to the core of who Captain America is as a character.
"The best thing about Cap is he's such a sympathetic character," Evans told BuzzFeed News on the D23 Expo press line. "He struggles so much [and] he doesn't bleed on people. So to have a character who's always taking his conflict in such a personal manner, when he has the opportunity to reconnect in a way that could be purely self-serving — it's not for the greater good, it's not for anyone else, it's just for him and he's put himself last so often, so many times — when you have a character that just remembers him and he has a flash of personal agenda, it's rewarding. I like it. I like those moments where Cap gets to have a little nugget just for himself."
Second: It's all about Sebastian Stan.
"Sebastian is one of the best actors we could possibly ask for in this movie," Evans continued. "He's phenomenal and it's enormously based on the chemistry Sebastian has established in the past movies. We owe him a lot."