Marvel Actor Knows How Howard Stark Can Return to the MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has announced Phase 4 films, and they don’t include Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) or the Avengers as a group. Avengers: Endgame may have given Tony Stark a fitting exit, but there are other people in Stark’s life who could hang around the MCU. Two actors have already played his father, Howard Stark.

John Slattery from the MCU to neXT
John Slattery in neXT | Ed Ariquel / FOX

John Slattery played Howard Stark in the Marvel movies Iron Man 2, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Endgame. Dominic Cooper played him in Agent Carter. Slattery stars on the upcoming Fox drama NeXT. We’ll have more about NeXT when it airs on Fox, but after the Television Critics Association panel, we asked Slattery about his future in the MCU.

Death won’t stop Howard Stark in Marvel movies

Howard and Maria Stark (Hope Davis) died in an automobile accident shown in Captain America: Civil War. But Slattery realized that that didn’t stop him from getting more MCU credits, so why should it now?

“I was never alive in any of the movies, I realized after the third one,” Slattery said. “I was always either a hologram or a flashback.”

‘Avengers: Endgame’ gave Howard Stark another way back

In Avengers: Endgame, Marvel allowed Tony Stark to get some closure with his father. When he traveled back in time to intercept the infinity stones and snatch some more Pym particles, Tony ran into Howard on a military base. Howard didn’t know who he was, but Tony still got his hug.

Marvel's Avengers Endgame: Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark | Film Frame/Marvel Studios

“Theoretically, those things cross time and space,” Slattery said. “We’ve seen characters that we thought were dead come right back, so …”

John Slattery is available for more Marvel movies 

Asking an actor whether he wants to come back for more movies is probably a foolish question. Why wouldn’t they? But it still needs to be confirmed, and Slattery said, if Marvel calls, he’s available.

“I’d like to come back,” Slattery said. “I’d miss Downey if it wasn’t with him.”

His ‘NeXT’ character has a little Howard Stark in him, too

Howard Stark was Tony’s predecessor in Stark Industries and invented a lot of the Marvel technology from the comics and films. On NeXT, Slattery will play a tech CEO facing off against an artificial intelligence that could have nefarious plans. In a way, it’s no less far fetched than Stark Industries.

“All this is not a documentary. What I know about technology, you could fit in my back pocket. I’m fairly adept at the newest iteration of a phone or computer, but I don’t know any more about that than I know about advertising after 10 years of doing Mad Men. I’m playing scenes in a moment. I’m playing a person who happens to do something other than what I do for a living, and that’s where the acting comes in. The fun part about that is that I get to learn more than I knew about all these subjects and then go onto some other subject. It feeds my attention span which is not that great.”

John Slattery, Television Critics Association panel, 1/7/2020