It has been four years since Tony Stark said farewell to the MCU. Iron Man gave his life to save the denizens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Thanos at the end of Avengers Endgame. All of the Marvel movies in order built to that final moment, in which Stark’s heroic sacrifice put an end to one of the best movie villains of all time.
We already believe that Tony Stark might be returning to the MCU as part of one of the Disney Plus shows, but there’s a chance he could return to the live-action world too, according to a Reddit fan theory. Posted even before Endgame, it suggests a storyline in which Stark can return from the dead – in a way.
The theory suggests that one of the best Marvel characters, before his death, could have programmed an AI in his image. The poster went on to suggest that this AI version of Stark could then become a companion to his former protégé Peter Parker as part of the Stark-built Spider-Man suit in upcoming Marvel movies.
“This way he can still be a part of his world and can still help his friends, while technically being gone,” the commenter wrote. “To make it even better he could become PP/SM’s new AI.”
The theory continued: “This way Tony could still be a central father figure and mentor to Peter, all while taking a back seat to the future MCU while still being important. In the past movies, there has definitely been a deep connection between the two characters and this happening in the future just really makes sense to me.”
Having thought about it a little, we think this could actually be a brilliant way to get the charisma of Robert Downey Jr. back into the MCU, without having to erase the emotional pay-off of Stark’s death. And let’s face it, the relationship between Stark and Spider-Man was one of the highlights of the MCU’s best movies in the build-up to Endgame.
It also might be a lot more feasible for Kevin Feige and friends to ask Downey to show up for a couple of days in a recording booth, rather than committing months of his time to a lengthy and complicated blockbuster film shoot. So it’s time to rewatch the Iron Man movies in order and prepare for more Stark. This could happen.
If you’re after more from the depths of the Marvel world, find out how Thanos once led the Avengers and learn why Robert Downey Jr. wanted to “take out” this other Avengers star. We’ve also explored why the MCU needs to learn a big lesson from the Fast and Furious movies.