Iron Man's Rumored 'Black Widow' Cameo Continues a Sneaky Marvel Tradition

Just because Iron Man is in 'Black Widow' doesn't mean he's back from the dead. Maybe.

Iron Man may be dead, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to play a part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Buried in a Friday story reporting on Tom Holland’s win for Best Actor at the Saturn Awards (for Spider-Man: Far From Home) is the news that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his Tony Stark/Iron Man in Black Widow, out next summer. “Downey will be seen in the role of Stark one more time, however, in the Marvel prequel Black Widow in May 2020,” wrote Deadline in a parenthetical.

Um, surprise! After what fans presumed to be his final performance as his Marvel superhero in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, it seems RDJ isn’t done with the MCU yet. However, it’s possible Stark’s return isn’t a full-fledged supporting role or even a cameo, but an appearance via recycled deleted scenes or archival footage, which the MCU has a small tradition of relying on.

Being a movie franchise with over 20 movies and counting, the MCU quite often features familiar faces without actually having said familiar face on set.

Natalie Portman’s cameo in Avengers: Endgame was actually an unused deleted scene from 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, while Scarlett Johansson’s “scene” in Thor: Ragnarok was reused footage from 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. And, of course, there was the (incredible) video tribute to the Avengers in the opening of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which paid homage to Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

This might also be the case with RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man in Black Widow, the long-awaited solo film featuring Scarlett Johansson as her world-famous Black Widow allegedly set in between the movies Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). There’s bound to be plenty of unused and archival material featuring Downey that Marvel can recycle for the Phase Four film.

Avengers Endgame Marvel
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man in 'Avengers: Endgame.'

Or maybe not! RDJ could just as well be in the midst of filming new scenes for Black Widow, but that still doesn’t mean fans should expect Iron Man to actually return.

Black Widow is confirmed to take place before Infinity War and Endgame, which means Iron Man is alive during the events of the movie (and super hated by the Avengers following his push for the Sokovia Accords that tore the Avengers apart). Fans won’t know for sure until Black Widow hits theaters next summer.


Black Widow will be released in theaters on May 1, 2020.

Media via Marvel Entertainment