Marvel Leak Suggest’s Another Version Of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark Survived ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) journey may have come to a close in Avengers: Endgame, but a new Marvel leak suggests that we may not have seen the last of Tony Stark. The leak comes after a fan theory surfaced about how Tony’s mind has lived on in the form of artificial intelligence. If the theory is true, then it opens the door for more Iron Man cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Here’s a quick look at how Downey might return to the MCU in the near future.

Marvel Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark
Marvel’s Robert Downey Jr could return as Tony Stark | Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Did Tony Stark survive ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

There is no doubt that Iron Man died in the final scenes of Endgame. While Tony’s actions ended the war with Thanos (Josh Brolin) and brought back everyone who died in the original snap, he was forced to sacrifice himself to make it happen.

The characters even held a heartbreaking funeral after Tony’s death, further driving home the fact that Iron Man’s story had come to a fitting end.

But a new fan theory argues that Tony may live on in the form of AI.

According to Express, the theory is based on the scene where Tony makes a hologram for his daughter that was played during his funeral. While the hologram was clearly meant to comfort Tony’s daughter, there may be more to it than meets the eye.

The fan theory says that the hologram was actually AI that was created by Tony prior to his death. If that is true, then we may see more of Iron Man in future films, albeit in the form of AI instead of a real person.

Marvel has not confirmed the theory, but a new leak may have given it some credibility.

Marvel leak may have confirmed Downey’s return

There is actually some evidence in the comics to back up the fan theory about Tony being AI. In the Ironheart storyline from the comics, Tony’s female counterpart is a black teenager named Riri Williams.

Williams takes over Tony Stark’s role after he finds himself in a coma. But when she puts on the Ironheart suit, she discovers that the AI inside the helmet is actually Tony.

There has been a lot of rumors about how Marvel is getting ready to introduce Ironheart in the MCU or on Disney’s new streaming service.

In fact, Downey reportedly told fans at a recent event that he fully supports Ironheart joining the MCU in the near future.

Nothing official has been confirmed, but bringing Ironheart into the fold could be a great way to resurrect Downey’s character without bringing him back from the dead. It would also be an opportunity to add even more diversity to the MCU, which is definitely a good thing.

When might Downey return to the MCU?

Assuming the fan theory is correct, it might be a long time before we see Downey as Tony Stark in action.

This past summer, Marvel announced a slew of projects for Phase 4 of the MCU. The studio plans to continue some of its most popular franchises while introducing some new characters to the universe.

The first film in the new phase is Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, which is due out in theaters on May 1, 2020. Marvel is following that up with The Eternals, which is scheduled to premiere next November.

Other upcoming projects include Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Marvel is also working on launching several new television shows that will premiere on Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney Plus. This includes the likes of Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki, WandaVision, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight.

While we would love to see Downey reprise his iconic role, he is unlikely to do so in any of these projects. This means that if Downey ever returns as Tony Stark, it will likely be in Phase 5.

That said, it is great to know that there are ways Marvel could bring Downey’s Iron Man back, even if we have to wait a little while until it happens.