SO! Bucky dies during WWII only not really, because the russians find him and revive him and brainwash him and turn him into a spy/assassin called the winter soldier. they keep him frozen until they need him and just wake him up for missions. he’s actually one of natasha’s main trainers and they fall in love and get in trouble for it and they brainwash him to forget all about her.
so then eventually steve finds out and finds him and un-brainwashes him and he’s bucky again. he goes off on his own for awhile to recover and figure out what he wants to do with his life. and then steve is assassinated and bucky takes up the shield for a while. turns out steve isn’t actually dead, and so he gets the captain america title back again. and right now in his own book he’s taken back the title of winter soldier and he and nat are hunting down people who are selling other sleeper agents on the black market.
MY GUESS IS for the movie, since they’ve also said it’s going to be a political thriller, is that the winter soldier is sent in to assassinate someone and steve is sent in to prevent that assassination from happening and they run into each other and steve is like WAIT WHAT BUCKY? and bucky is like WHAT IS A BUCKY? and steve finds someway to get him to shield and unbrainwashed etc. AND THEN THEY’RE BEST FRIENDS AGAIN.
as much as i love bucky as cap, i kinda hope we don’t get it in the movies? or that if we do, they find a way to do it without steve dying. because i honestly do not think i could handle steve dying in the movies.