Gwyneth Paltrow Exiting MCU After ‘Avengers: Endgame’ — What Does That Mean for Tony Stark?

If Pepper Potts is saying goodbye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then it stands to reason Tony Stark will do the same.
"Spider-Man: Homecoming"
"Spider-Man: Homecoming"

Disney and Marvel Studios are remaining incredibly tight-lipped on plot details for the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” although Gwyneth Paltrow has indirectly teased a possible fate for longtime MCU characters Pepper Potts and Tony Stark/Iron Man. Speaking to Variety, the actress confirmed her plan to retire from the MCU following “Endgame,” in which she’ll once again reprise her role of Pepper Potts.

“I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit and all that at this point,” Paltrow said. “I feel very lucky that I did it, because I actually got talked into it. I was friend with [‘Iron Man’ director] Jon Favreau. It was such a wonderful experience making the first ‘Iron Man’ and then to watch how important it has become to fans.”

Paltrow starred as Pepper in the original “Iron Man,” which launched the entire MCU in summer 2008. Pepper and Paltrow have gone on to appear in “Iron Man 2,” “Iron Man 3,” “The Avengers,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Avengers: Endgame.” If Pepper is planning on taking a back seat in the MCU after “Endgame,” then it stands to reason Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr. will do the same should Iron Man survive the events of “Endgame.”

Tony and Pepper were seen together at the start of “Infinity War” discussing the possibility of having a child together. Tony told Pepper he had a dream where they had a kid together and that it felt real, which led him to believe Pepper was pregnant in real life. The brief discussion has led to countless fan theories predicting Tony and Pepper’s child will somehow factor into “Endgame,” which is rumored to feature a time-hopping narrative. Some fans believe “13 Reasons Why” star Katherine Langford is playing the child as a teenager, although Langford’s role has not been disclosed by Disney and Marvel.

From the sound of it, Pepper is going to be alive and well when “Endgame” cuts to black. Paltrow told Variety that while she no longer wants to be committed to making Marvel movies, she is leaving the door open to a cameo in the future. “I feel honored to be a part of something that people are so passionate about,” Paltrow said. “Of course, if they said, ‘Can you come back for a day?,’ I will always be there if they need me.”

If Paltrow is up for another cameo, then it appears Pepper survives “Endgame” and the character more or less decides to stay away from Avengers life. Tony Stark has been inching towards this same path ever since the invasion of New York City in “The Avengers,” and it’s certainly possible that if he survives “Endgame,” he’ll join his wife (and maybe their child) in hanging up the superhero suit to live a quiet and peaceful life while the next generation of Avengers (hello, Captain Marvel) is tasked with saving the universe.

“Avengers: Endgame” opens in theaters nationwide April 26.

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