Avengers: Endgame isn’t just the highest-grossing movie of all time, it’s also the MCU movie that marks the exit of three beloved characters, including Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Natasha Romanoff. The three actors who portrayed these characters for over a decade are done — or at least almost done — with their Marvel contracts. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have left Iron Man and Cap behind, and Scarlett Johansson has just one more movie to do, and that’s the Black Widow prequel coming next year. We know that Falcon will pick up where Captain America left off, and the Black Widow movie will probably introduce a new Black Widow hero for the Avengers. What hurts the most, of course, is that both Tony and Nat are dead, so there’s no way to bring them back. That said, a new leak suggests Downey Jr. will indeed somehow reprise his iconic Iron Man role at least one more time in the coming years.
While recapping the 45th Annual Saturn Awards where Marvel and Endgame were among the huge winners, Deadline casually leaked this massive spoiler — emphasis ours:
The finale installment of the Marvel big-screen saga was named best comic-to-film release. Robert Downey Jr.’s swan song performance as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in Endgame earned him the best actor in a film award. (Downey will be seen in the role of Stark one more time, however, in the Marvel prequel Black Widow in May 2020.) Josh Brolin, who portrayed the calculating, grape-colored alien despot called Thanos, won as the best supporting actor in a film for Avengers: Endgame as well.
That must be amazing news to fans eager to see Downey Jr.’s Stark on the big screen at least one more time… assuming of course that the leak is accurate.
Then again, the news shouldn’t be that surprising considering that Black Widow, much like Captain Marvel and Captain America: The First Avenger, will be a prequel. We’ll learn exactly how Nat was turned to SHIELD and what happened in Budapest — I mean, come on, they have to show us what happened with Nat and Clint’s in Budapest. Hawkeye is obviously also expected to appear in the film because he’s the one who recruited her.
Back to Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson first appeared in the MCU in 2010 in Iron Man 2, when she played a certain Stark employee named Natalie Rushman. That turned out to be the official introduction of the SHIELD spy Natasha Romanoff, who was keeping an eye on Stark all along. With that in mind, it seems logical to have at least one Stark cameo in the upcoming Black Widow movie. And who knows, given that other prequels might follow in the coming years, we might see Iron Man in other MCU films down the road.
Black Widow is the first film in the MCU Phase 4, and it’s set to premiere on May 1st, 2020.