Kevin Feige is either a really good liar, or he pays surprisingly little attention to what people are saying about the MCU. I suspect the former is true, because there’s no way he hasn’t heard the rumor suggesting the original Avengers are returning to the franchise.
It’s now been four years since the MCU said goodbye to classic Marvel characters Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America. The post-Endgame journey has been a rocky one, to say the least, and every upcoming Marvel movie now comes with a tremendous degree of pressure to succeed. After some question Phase 5 releases like Ant-Man 3 and Secret Invasion, is it time to break the glass in case of emergency?
Well, when he was asked by Entertainment Tonight whether there are plans to resurrect the fallen Avengers for new movies in the MCU, Feige claimed ignorance: “I’ve literally never heard of this rumor… but no, that was not discussed at the Marvel retreat. That’s the truth.”
Don’t be too disheartened, though. Feige went on to reveal some tantalizing plans, and he didn’t exactly deny the idea of the MCU’s first heroes returning: “We’re planning a project with Scarlett [Johansson], I love Robert [Downey Jr.], he’s part of the family, but in terms of returning, we’ll have to see.”
That feels very much like when you’re a kid and you ask your mom for ice cream, and she says “we’ll see,” and we all know that with enough nagging, you’ll get what you want in the end. But do we actually want those hard-hitting deaths reversed?
I’m not so sure. Tony Stark’s death literally saved the universe after Thanos brought it to its knees. His sacrifice to stop the Marvel villain would be severely undermined if Iron Man just randomly pops up again in Phase 6 like nothing happened. The same goes for Natasha Romanoff, and even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the way her death scene played out, it still meant a great deal for the Avengers.
We already saw how the decision to release the Black Widow movie after that death really made the whole thing a moot point – like, do we really care about this particular moment for the character when we already know she’s going to jump off a cliff in a few years anyway? We’ve said our goodbyes to these iconic heroes, and bringing them back would feel gimmicky, and like a very transparent attempt to claw back fans who have abandoned the stuttering superhero movie franchise.
Nevertheless, there’s a big difference between what Marvel should do and what Marvel could do, and I suspect that if projects like The Marvels fail to live up to expectations, Feige will be very tempted to hit the big red button and wheel out Robert Downey Jr. for a rescue mission. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Marvel sticks to its guns and lets its new heroes find their feet without having to rely on the old guard.
If you really want to see Iron Man and Black Widow again, you can just watch the Marvel movies in order again – problem solved. While you’re at it, you’re going to need to include the Marvel series in your marathon now, too, otherwise you’ll be very confused. Now, instead of thinking about the past, let’s look to the future, and get excited about Deadpool 3.