Tony Stark May Not Be Gone For Good: Inside the Memorial Slideshow From ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Ever since Avengers: Endgame, fans have taken to the internet to explain all the various ways – from the intricately detailed to the melodramatic and splendiferous – Tony Stark could return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From rumors that Robert Downey Jr.’s vocals would be used for an A.I. voice in Spider-Man: Far From Home to theories involving the complex multiverse, fans were, in essence, pulling at straws.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man for over a decade; thus, fans have an unexplainable attachment to the superhero. He kickstarted the MCU, and he is largely responsible for the subsequent success of the Avengers saga. Without a successful Iron Man film, the captivating Captain America and Thor movies may never have found their way to the silver screen. 

Iron Man is largely considered the face of Marvel; thus, accepting that he’s gone for good can be an overwhelming load to carry. No more quips from the peanut gallery? No more father-son dynamic between Parker and Stark.? No more Potts and Tony arguing over the latter’s compulsion for heroism? The list goes on and on.

*’Spider-Man: Far From Home’ spoilers ahead*

Though the opening scene in Spider-Man: Far From Home – featuring an in memoriam slideshow dedicated to Stark, Rogers, and Romanoff – may have confirmed Tony Stark’s death, he may not be gone for good.  

While a memorial slideshow – portrayed in high school powerpoint fashion – may lead you to believe that Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark may never appear in another MCU movie, such reasoning implies that the rest of the MCU movies will occur post-Endgame. 

Tony Stark could come back to the MCU for a pre-Endgame movie

If every MCU movie were to take place following Endgame, it would be wise to assume that Tony Stark would never return. However, a prequel is already planned for Black Widow, and the MCU is not famous for sticking to comic book trajectory, or meeting viewers’ expectations. Rather, the MCU is famous for violating what we assume will happen and always upping its game. Thus, the small “in memoriam” tribute could easily be a ploy, aimed at convincing fans to let Stark go. For, as soon as we believe he is gone…

Though an “In Memoriam” tribute played at the start of Spider-Man: Far From Home, a similar reel would not make sense at the start of the Black Widow movie, if Iron Man is still alive in that time period. Paying tribute to a character who is technically alive in the movie you are about to watch would be odd. 

Furthermore, if Black Widow is not the MCU’s final prequel film, opportunities for an RDJ appearance may present themselves in the future. The question is: if RDJ were to return to the MCU, when would he choose to?

Will Robert Downey Jr. ever return to the MCU as Iron Man and, if so, when? 

Whether Robert Downey Jr. will ever return to the MCU remains to be seen; however, it seems reasonable to assume he may one day make a cameo as an older, wiser, non-suited version of Tony Stark; maybe ten years from now? However, if he were to appear earlier, a Black Widow cameo seems likely, but there’s a catch.

Robert Downey Jr. cannot appear in the upcoming Black Widow movie because it’s too soon; fans haven’t missed him enough. However, if the head honchos over at Marvel award Black Widow multiple films, as they did her male counterparts, it would be reasonable to believe that Tony would make an appearance in one of her prequel movies, for he is her initial connection to the Avengers.