The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an interesting place. With so many characters and puzzle pieces in constant motion, audiences see a revolving door of people and places. And with the MCU nearly 9 years old, some of the characters we started with have since faded. Case in point: Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, who starred opposite RDJ's Tony Stark in all three Iron Man movies, as well as an appearance in The Avengers. While it seemed like Pepper was all but written out of the MCU altogether, it now appears that she may make a reappearance in a surprising installment in the cinematic universe.

A new rumor has surfaced that Gwyneth Paltrow will reprise her role as Pepper Potts during the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming. While unconfirmed, this report (via Lainey Gossip) would actually make a great deal of sense. Tony Stark will be a major supporting character in Homecoming, and it would be the perfect time to finally address the elephant in the room that is Pepper's absence.

Pepper Potts with Iron Man's helmet under her arm

Obviously we need to take this rumor with a grain of salt, but it does seem to be informed by some of the newest revelations about Spider-Man: Homecoming. For instance, Peter Parker himself Tom Holland recently revealed that Tony Stark and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) aren't going to be an item in Homecoming, despite their flirtation in Captain America: Civil War. Perhaps the reason for this is that Tony is too focused on attempting to reconcile with Pepper.

Additionally, the newest Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer featured a ton of Robert Downey Jr.'s signature character. Rather than a few small scenes, Tony have a role in mentoring Peter Parker, and attempting to keep him on the straight and narrow. This will presumably lead Tony Stark to reevaluate his choice to bring Spider-Man into the world of professional crime fighting, and maybe even his follies with Pepper as well. As of Civil War, he certainly seems to be self-reflecting quite a bit.

While the MCU has been growing in size, scope, and diversity, many of its original figures have fallen to the wayside. In addition to Gwyneth's absence in the MCU, Natalie Portman's Jane Foster won't be appearing in Thor: Ragnarok. And with Peggy Carter passing away during the events of Civil War, it seems like all three of the original love interests are donezo.

But between the impending war with Thanos and the infighting that has split the Avengers in half, perhaps there's just not enough time for love in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, Captain America had his semi incestuous relationship with Sharon Carter in Civil War, but it was hardly a major plot point. Perhaps Thor and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie will fare better once Ragnarok is finally upon us.

Spider-Man: Homecoming will swing into theaters on July 7, 2017, hopefully with Pepper Potts in tow.

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