It’s hard to believe whether anyone – whether hero or villain – ever really stays dead in the world of superheroes. As can be seen with Spider-Man: No Way Home, when time-travel and multiverses are involved, anything can happen and anyone can appear. But one person we’ve been assured is staying dead is Iron Man himself, Tony Stark.
The writers of No Way Home, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, have been speaking to the Jeff Goldsmith podcast about the fact that they did not consider bringing Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) mentor Tony (Robert Downey Jr) back for the movie, which contained old Spider-Man villains along with other surprises.
“I think honestly that’s a non-starter in the halls of Marvel, at least in our experience. They just don’t really like constantly evoking [Iron Man],” McKenna said when asked if the creative team considered bringing back Downey’s Tony Stark. “I mean, obviously, Tony cast such a large shadow even after Endgame — which we dealt with in Far From Home — but I think everyone felt like we can’t just keep on going to the Tony well.”
“I don’t think having Tony there would have done anything,” McKenna continued. “We started realising that the moral impetus — the guidepost of his life — is Aunt May and that for the first time he’s being tested about whether he can truly live up to this code that she’s instilled in him. That is really what this Peter Parker story is all about.”
In 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony was positioned in something of an Uncle Ben role for Peter. 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home was about Peter trying to navigate his own path, in the absence of Tony. And No Way Home completes his ‘origin story’ with the lessons learned both from Aunt May and from other Spider-Men from other universes.
If you’re prepping for all of the Marvel movies set for release in 2022, check out our guide to Phase 4.