Robert Downey Jr.'s MCU Death Prevented the Return of 1 Marvel Actor, Reveals Star

By Nathan Johnson Updated:
Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark, Marvel Studios

The death of Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man hit a lot of fans hard, but it even caused one MCU actor to not return to the franchise up until this point.

Tony Stark's death in Avengers: Endgame marked the end of an era for a lot of people both within the MCU on-screen and fans around the world. It wasn't just the end for a certain character, but also the entire Infinity Saga.

However, arguably no one was more affected than Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, who was married to Tony in the super-powered franchise.

The star was asked in the past if she thought her time in the series was over, to which she said she "think[s] so."

Gwyneth Paltrow on Why She Hasn't Returned to the MCU

Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man armor in Avengers Endgame

During a Q&A that MCU star Gwyneth Paltrow hosted on her personal Instagram stories, she was asked by a fan why she stopped appearing in recent Marvel Studios projects since 2019's Endgame.

The actress responded by letting everyone know that it was really "because Iron Man died," and that the story doesn't "need Pepper Potts" without Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man:

"Oh my god, stop yelling at me! We just stopped doing it because Iron Man died, and why do you need Pepper Potts without Iron Man? I don't know, call up Marvel and yell at them, not me. I'm just sitting here."

Will Pepper Potts Ever Come Back in the MCU?

Paltrow's comment that the franchise doesn't "need Pepper Potts without Iron Man" may be a bit of an exaggeration.

Yes, Pepper was an integral part of the life and character arc of Downey Jr.'s Stark, and she had a lot to do with the choices that he made, but she also had a lot to offer in other aspects.

For example, she put her leadership abilities on full display when she became CEO of Stark Industries all while caring for Tony and trying to help him.

If Marvel wanted to, they could definitely incorporate her back into the story even if it was in a minor way.

However, with the direction that the MCU is going in exploring the Multiversal side of the universe, it is unlikely that she would fit in any current projects.

Perhaps in the future, she will end up making a few more appearances, though, especially if fan theories do come true and Tony makes an appearance in Avengers: Secret Wars.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.