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Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have reportedly agreed to return to the Avengers

Published Nov 6th, 2023 2:51PM EST
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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We’ve been talking about Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’s Captain America returning to future Avengers movies even before the Multiverse Saga had “multiverse” in the name. We knew we were heading towards Avengers: Secret Wars even before Marvel confirmed its Avengers 5 and Avengers 6 titles. As a reminder, before Secret Wars, we’ll see the Avengers battle Kang in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Both actors have repeatedly denied returning to the MCU, given what their beloved characters went through in Endgame. Iron Man died at the end of the movie, and Steve Rogers retired to a different reality. But both actors kept a “never say never” attitude.

If a leaker’s new scoops are accurate, both Iron Man and Steve Rogers’s Cap will indeed return to the MCU. Apparently, both actors have already reached agreements with Marvel. Mind you, some spoilers will follow below.

Getting the band back together

The entire gist of the Multiverse Saga doesn’t need any leaks, given the roadmap ahead. The Avengers will battle the Kangs of the multiverse, and they’ll need all the help they can get. Think of it as another version of Endgame, where the good guys recruit every possible superhero who can help against Kang.

Since it’s a multiverse story, every Marvel character is game. Marvel can also finally use the Fox universe since Disney owns it. That’s why we’re getting Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in Deadpool 3. And Logan might join Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) once again in Secret Wars. The same goes for other beloved X-Men characters from the Fox movies.

Then we have Sony’s Spider-Man variants, who already showed up in No Way Home. They’ll probably appear again in Secret Wars.

Iconic Avengers scene from The Avengers.
Iconic Avengers scene from The Avengers. Image source: Disney

If you’re getting the entire band together, you need your original Avengers. Even if you’re reviving the dead ones for one more fight. By the way, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) also died in Endgame, and she should also return if Marvel brings back Iron Man and Steve Rogers.

If you’ve watched the Loki TV show on Disney Plus, and especially episode 5 in Loki season 2, you’ve probably caught the Secret Wars foreshadowing. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is raising his tiny TVA army by looking up his friends from other realities. He does it to save the TVA and, in turn, the entire multiverse.

Fighting Kang would require a similar, but much bigger, call to arms. Rumors say the TVA will recruit the best versions of the superheroes we love for the task. Hence the Wolverine’s appearance in Deadpool 3 and Secret Wars.

The rumors

In a report a few days ago, Variety gave us a purported look at the MCU problems Disney and Marvel are looking to fix.

The following paragraph describes one solution the execs might have considered; getting the original Avengers gang for one more movie:

With Iger publicly acknowledging the downside of a Marvel TV glut that ‘diluted focus and attention,’ the keepers of the comic book empire are considering some dramatic moves. Sources say there have been talks to bring back the original gang for an Avengers movie. This would include reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, both of whom were killed off in Endgame (That shouldn’t be a stumbling block — in comic books, beloved characters are often killed off, only to be resurrected thanks to the power of things like the multiverse.) But the studio hasn’t yet committed to the idea — if it were able to bring those actors back, it wouldn’t come cheap. Sources say Downey Jr.’s upfront salary for Iron Man 3 was around $25 million.

Captain America in Avengers: Endgame
Still from Avengers: Endgame showing Captain America (Chris Evans) during the final battle, probably thinking he could do this all day. Image source: Marvel Studios

I’ll say from the start that I’m not a big fan of that idea. I do want Iron Man, Black Widow, and Steve Rogers back for Secret Wars. But not necessarily for a standalone Avengers flick featuring only the original six.

I also want the Multiverse Saga to make more sense. And that includes getting more Avengers connections. That’s the biggest MCU plot hole so far, one I keep highlighting after each movie and TV show. Marvel is going out of its way to avoid those links.

We know from Kevin Feige’s own comments that the Avengers do not exist and that Captain America: Brave New World will give us a new team. But Marvel wasted some four years of storytelling without giving us that detail with the help of MCU Phase 4 and 5 movies and TV shows.

The bigger leaks

The main point in the report is that Marvel is considering bringing back the dead (or retired) characters. That was never a doubt in my mind. You don’t go for the multiverse angle without making the most of it.

That means getting the alternate Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Deadpool in the MCU. And, most importantly, reviving Iron Man and Black Widow for the occasion. As for Rogers, he isn’t dead, but Marvel would have to bring us a younger version of the character.

Maybe Steve Rogers went on to fight Secret Wars with the Avengers of the future after Endgame but before settling down with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in an alternate reality.

Reacting to the Variety report, well-known Marvel insider MyTimeToShineHello said on Twitter that “RDJ already agreed to come back.”

A few days later, the same leaker said that Chris Evans also agreed to come back, providing more details on the matter. Apparently, the actor agreed to return to Secret Wars, and it all happened before the actors’ strike.

There’s no way to verify the information, of course. But given everything, it does make sense. I will remind you with the following Captain America comment from Chris Evans from earlier this summer:

‘Yeah, maybe, [I’ll go back to Marvel]’ he says. ‘I’ll never say never, just because it was such a wonderful experience. But I’m also very precious with it. It’s something that I am very proud of. And like I said, sometimes I can’t believe it even happened. And I wouldn’t want the black eye if it felt like a cash grab or if it didn’t live up to expectations or if it just felt like it wasn’t connected to that original thing.’

‘So, no time soon,’ he continued.

At the time, I said that Marvel would probably have to delay Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars because of the strikes. Therefore, the “no time soon” prediction would easily come true.

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.

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