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Insider says Iron Man might return for 2 more Marvel movies

Updated Dec 29th, 2022 12:16PM EST
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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There’s no question that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is one of the most popular superheroes right now. But Iron Man also happens to be dead after his heartbreaking sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean RDJ’s MCU days are behind him. We’ve speculated that Marvel can bring back Tony Stark relatively easily without ruining the character’s legacy from Endgame. And an insider says that Iron Man is indeed returning to the MCU for Avengers: Secret Wars.

On top of that, Iron Man could show up in an additional MCU project, and it’s not the one you think. Before we explain, you should know that MCU spoilers might follow below.

Why we need Iron Man in Secret Wars

Secret Wars has a May 1st, 2026 release date, which gives Marvel plenty of time to perfect the script. However, leaks say that Kevin Feige wants Avengers 6 to be as big as Endgame and deliver a similar impact.

Word on the street is that the Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars will follow the dynamic of Infinity War and Endgame. The first movie is dedicated to the villain, who beats the Avengers. Then they get to do their avenging in the second film.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Avengers will supposedly need all the help they can get in Secret Wars. That might mean recruiting superheroes from alternate universes or different points in the past. If the Avengers were plucking Infinity Stones from other realities in Endgame, they might be picking up heroes like Iron Man in Secret Wars.

This isn’t just speculation. Hugh Jackman already told the world that’s how his Wolverine will join Deadpool 3. From the mutant’s point of view, the events in the Deadpool sequel take place before Logan. Then, Wolverine will be returned to his own timeline so that the events of Logan can still play out as they did.

The same thing could happen with Iron Man, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and any other characters who aren’t available in the main MCU timeline. Someone could use the multiverse to assemble a massive team of superheroes to beat Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Secret Wars.

Iron Man might show up in other MCU projects

By taking a Tony Stark version from the past, Marvel gets to have its cake and eat it too. Iron Man would join the Avengers of the Multiverse Saga, a far richer universe than the Infinity Saga. But he will still die at the end of Endgame. That sort of fate would imply that he survives Secret Wars. He has to live so he can return to his timeline and fulfill his destiny.

The point here is that Marvel will not resurrect Iron Man. That sort of return to the MCU would ruin the character’s legacy. Not to mention that having RDJ back for more than one movie could be very costly for Marvel.

That said, leaker MyTimeToShine Hello claims that Iron Man is back for sure for Secret Wars. But that’s where she adds that there has been some talk about RDJ having a cameo in Armor Wars.

That’s now a full-fledged Marvel movie starring Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine. And Rhodey is Tony’s best friend, so an Iron Man cameo would make sense. It would probably be something from their past, but that’s just speculation.

What’s important to remember is that Armor Wars used to be a Disney Plus series, but then Marvel elevated it to a movie. Whatever happens in it, the plot is big enough to warrant a theatrical release.

Other MCU rumors said Marvel wants RDJ back for both Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. They did not mention Armor Wars cameos.

These are all rumors, however. We won’t know until May 2026 whether Iron Man appears in Secret Wars. Armor Wars doesn’t have a premiere date, but the film should hit cinemas long before the end of the current saga.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.