We have a lot of expectations about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going after Avengers: Endgame but having said, very little is really known for sure. We expect that many of the characters that made up the core of the MCU up to this point will be taking their leave, and now we appear to have confirmation that at least one character introduced in the very first MCU movie will be gone following Marvel's big blow-off event. Gwyneth Paltrow has confirmed she'll no longer be playing Pepper Potts after Endgame.
The way that Paltrow explains it, she says that she is planning on retiring the character after Marvel Studios' big April film, so the fact that the actress won't be back isn't necessarily confirmation that Pepper Potts won't survive the film. In fact, she tells Variety that she would absolutely be willing to potentially reprise her role in a cameo capacity in the future if that were ever requested, which would imply that she will very much survive the events of the upcoming film, but she's not looking to play Pepper in a larger role, as she had in the Iron Man films, going forward.
This is one of the few actual confirmations that we have about an MCU actor who will be leaving the role behind as the current Phase Three of the MCU wraps up. We largely expect other big name actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans to also take their leave. The word is their contracts will end following Endgame and resigning them would likely be far too expensive. Having said that, none of that has been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios and so we don't really know for sure who we will see again and who we won't.
The fact that Gwyneth Paltrow is leaving the role of Pepper Potts could be taken as an indication to confirm Tony Stark's future as well. The two are in a relationship, after all, and are engaged to be married in the storyline of the MCU, having one character without the other seems unlikely.
Of course, other Marvel movies, like Captain America: Civil War, found ways to explain Pepper's absence while still featuring Tony, so this can't really be seen as a confirmation of anything.
The lack of Pepper Potts won't be an earth-shattering change to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it certainly will be the first of many characters who are on their way out. And some of the departures will be big deals. All indications are that the MCU will be going off in a very different direction with Phase Four, though at this point we have no idea what that will actually look like.
So it looks like, whatever, actually happens to the character, we can pretty much say goodbye to Pepper Potts being part of the MCU. On the plus side, Pepper will be going out with a bang, as she will apparently have her own Iron Man-style armor at some point during Avengers; Endgame.
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