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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a precarious position at the moment. We're currently in the interim period between phases, where no content is being released and the plans for Phase Four are being kept under warps. The next slate of movies will begin with Black Widow, which will be set in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Tony Stark would still be alive at this point, kickstarting rumors of Robert Downey Jr. appearing in the upcoming blockbuster. Now RDJ has responded to those rumors, in the perfect way.
Robert Downey Jr.'s tenure as Iron Man seemingly ended with Avengers: Endgame, as the character was given a hero's death and star-studded funeral. But the 54 year-old actor has also been a little cryptic about returning eventually, which is fueling the fires of those fan theories. He was recently asked about rumors that he would appear in Black Widow, saying:
I mean, it would be nice if they notified me. Forewarned is forearmed. They can do anything now. This could be a deep fake interview for all we know.
While still showing off how good he his at dodging questions, this is a pretty hilarious response to rumors about his role in Black Widow. Because if he's going to appear in Cate Shortland's upcoming prequel, he wants to at least know about it.
Robert Downey Jr.'s comments come from his conversation with ET while promoting his new movie Dolittle. Eventually the subject turned to all things Marvel, as interviews with Downey Jr. are wont to do. While he was sure not to explicitly confirm or deny his role in Black Widow, his joke certainly makes it seem like he won't appear. After all, he did JUST die.
Marvel fans can re-watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
Story wise, it might not make sense for Tony Stark to appear in Black Widow. Because the movie is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, half of the Avengers are fugitives on the run. This includes Black Widow, who was seen working with Cap and Falcon in Avengers: Infinity War. As such, she presumably wasn't in contact with Iron Man very much throughout this period of time-- especially if she was busy battling Taskmaster with her "family".
This isn't to say that director Cate Shortland and Kevin Feige won't find a sly way to reference Tony Stark, helping to build more connections within the shared universe. Perhaps Iron Man will be seen on a news clip or something like that. But I wouldn't be surprised if at least one Avenger popped up at the tail end of the movie, especially if it directly precedes the events of Infinity War.
Black Widow arrives in theaters on May 1st, and Dolittle is out now. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.