The Avengers movies have always been enormous endeavors, but the next two are going to take that idea to the next level. Beginning with Avengers: Infinity War next year, we will see every corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together to face off against Thanos. Then, in Avengers 4 (real title still unavailable at this point) we will see the culmination of over a decade's worth of stories. In fact, now it looks like Avengers 4 has officially grown by one, as Ty Simpkins is formally lining up to reprise his Iron Man 3 role as Harley Keener. I know, right? I was surprised too.
Remember Harley Keener? Who could forget?! Per IMDb's announcement: the tech-obsessed, bullied little kid who warmed Tony Stark's arc reactor-powered heart in Iron Man 3 is officially coming back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the fourth Avengers movie. We do not know how Harley will specifically factor into the story (Tony has been giving suits to teenagers lately, so anything is possible), but it is clear that the Iron Man corner of the Marvel mythos will continue to play a role in this universe at least until the end of Phase 3.
The promise of Harley Keener coming back should get fans of Robert Downey Jr.'s comedy chops very excited as well. Iron Man 3 went for a different humorous approach compared to its predecessors (in a Shane Black sort of way), and the banter between Tony and Harley when they first meet really gave Tony quite a bit of room to maneuver in the quip department.
Of course, after everything that has happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the course of the last decade, we already know that Tony Stark and Harley Keener have far more in common than Tony would let on during their first encounter. Captain America: Civil War showed us that Tony hasn't let go of his issues with his father yet (and he'll never get the chance to, thanks to Bucky), and there are some clear parallels between how Tony feels about Howard Stark and how Harley feels about the father who walked out on him. Neither of them has received a clear resolution to their issues yet, so maybe Avengers 4 will finally give them what they have been looking for since meeting one another.
We will keep you posted with more information regarding how Harley Keener may factor into Avengers 4 as new details become available. Tony Stark will don his Iron Man suit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year when Avengers: Infinity War debuts in theaters on May 4, 2018. Avengers 4 will debut the following year on May 3, 2019. Until then, make sure to get your tickets for Thor: Ragnarok now, and check out the God of Thunder's next solo adventure when it debuts on the big screen on November 3.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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