Christopher Lennertz, the conductor and composer of Disney's Rogers: The Musical, broke the silence on why Bucky Barnes' role in the show is much smaller than in the actual MCU.
Bucky Barnes' fans have been furious with Marvel for quite some time over the fact that their favorite character keeps getting sidelined -- the most recent example is Disney's Rogers: The Musical, where the Winter Soldier is a mere passer-by. In the musical, Bucky appears before Steve turns into a Super Soldier, and he then comes back at the very end for the final song. In a recent interview with The Direct, Lennertz explained why Barnes' role was cut down for Rogers: The Musical, which debuted at Disneyland in June 2023.
Disney wanted Rogers: The Musical to be offered four times a day, and that, unfortunately, meant that it had to be 30 to 35 minutes long, which was not enough time to tell Captain America's full life story. This led Lennertz and his team to completely re-envision the show and significantly reduce some characters' (including Bucky's) stage time. The composer said, "[We were forced] to make some choices we really didn't want to make. Probably the biggest one being that we didn't want so little of Bucky."
Rogers: The Musical Makes Some Controversial Changes
However, the original version of Rogers: The Musical was "much longer" and the Winter Soldier was a much more prominent character in Rogers' story. "Hopefully, you know, if anybody would ever let us do it, the longer version of this show had Bucky as a much bigger player in this. That's the other really big person in Cap's life from the get-go. I could absolutely see a Bucky and Cap song in there somewhere. But we just literally didn't have the time," Lennertz explained, adding that the musical number was never actually finished.
The conductor seemed to believe that this was not the end for Rogers: The Musical and that Barnes could still have a more impactful role in the future if the show ever got to Broadway, saying, "Absolutely there could be a great Broadway version of this show in which Bucky has a really big part and will say the lines he needs to say. So it's interesting to think how that could work."
Many fans are outraged that the Winter Soldier's Rogers: The Musical role has been reduced, but that is nothing compared to how they feel about Peggy getting to say one of Bucky's movie lines in the show. Lennertz knew about the backlash and admitted that Carter was given Barnes' line deliberately due to time constraints. He elaborated, "Obviously, we all knew that. It wasn't a mistake. We all knew; we all knew. We all made the choice that for this 35-minute show we wanted to get the line in, and the way to get it in was to land on the Peggy storyline."
Rogers: The Musical will be running at Disney California Adventure until Aug. 31.
Source: The Direct