Tony Stark is out of the MCU. Avengers: Endgame ultimately decided the fate of the character played by Robert Downey Jr. and fans were all given the opportunity to say goodbye to the character in Endgame and to grieve him more thoroughly during the course of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Yet, now it looks as if Tony Stark could make an appearance in Black Widow.
Over the weekend, Deadline mentioned Robert Downey Jr. would be back in an unrelated post connected to the Saturn Awards. At the time, it either seemed like a huge spoiler in an unrelated post or perhaps even a misstype. Could Robert Downey Jr. already be making a return to the MCU?
If the rumors hold true, Comic Book says there’s “a good chance” we are likely looking at a cameo from the actor and one that would come from recycled footage found in the deleted scenes from Captain America: Civil War in which Tony Stark tells Natasha Romanoff to “run” after the final confrontation.
While not confirmed, in some ways this would actually make a lot of sense. Marvel has brilliantly started playing around with timelines, giving us stories that occurred earlier in the history of the MCU with Captain Marvel. At Comic-Con earlier this year, Marvel made it clear that Black Widow would be set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, giving the idea of this cameo some credence. What I like about this alleged info is that it would finally pinpoint more specifically when Black Widow is set.
Secondly, given Robert Downey Jr. has spoken out this year about finally “distancing himself” from the MCU, I’d be shocked to hear about the actor actually returning for anything substantial anytime soon. Recycled footage from Captain America: Civil War could be a way to work the actor in without having to work him into the budget, similar (but different) to how Spider-Man: Far From Home also paid homage to Tony Stark. I assume that would be a win-win for everyone.
Black Widow has already started filming, so now would be around the time these sorts of rumors could start rolling around. Regardless, there is no confirmation from Marvel regarding either the potential cameo or what it would entail, so this is all best guesses at this point.
We do know the Black Widow movie will take us to Budapest, referencing an inside joke between Black Widow and Hawkeye that has some wondering if that Avenger will also make an appearance or tie in to the movie. The flick will also look into Black Widow's past as Scarlett Johansson's famous character is confronted with "demons."