Avengers 4 has reportedly added Ty Simpkins, who played Harley Keener in Iron Man 3, to the cast. As if the still-untitled Russo Brothers project is not already jampacked with characters, Marvel may have added another supporting character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the bunch – presumably to further Tony Stark’s personal story arc in the movie.
The young actor is best remembered for his role as Harley Keener in Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr’s last standalone film as Iron Man. Since then, Harley has not been seen, or even referenced, in the succeeding films with Stark. Now, the actor is reported to be back in the MCU fold if a new casting update is to be believed.
According to IMDb, the 16-year-old has boarded the MCU Phase 3 capper to reprise his role as Stark’s nosy but dependable friend. Aside from the casting, no other specifics were given, but it is interesting to know that someone who has a shared history with the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist is being brought back for Avengers 4 given its already packed cast sheet.
While it’s not an unusual for some Iron Man supporting characters to appear in other projects that he is also in (case in point: Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts in Spider-Man: Homecoming), this new development leaves us wondering what a teenage kid like Harley has got to do with a bigger storyline that involves all of the franchise’s moving parts.
Obviously, IMDb casting has not always been the most reliable, so it is best to take this news with a grain of salt. But should this come to fruition, chances are that Harley’s role in the film could be small – just enough to establish that Stark’s story has gone full circle, an important aspect, especially if he is to bite the bullet in the film as many are predicting. Still, when rumors were circulating about Iron Man 4 already being in development, fans were speculating that the kid from Tennessee could be groomed as a protege for the MCU poster boy.
Speculations that supporting characters joining Avengers 4 are nothing new. Peggy Carter actress Hayley Atwell may have filmed an Avengers 4 cameo, as well as one for Avengers: Infinity War. Of course, Marvel Studios is still mum regarding this, but her appearance in any of the ensemble films (in any kind of form) is only fitting given that she is a huge part of Captain America’s life. Similar to Harley’s reason for being in the narrative, Peggy could be utilized to bring Steve’s story full circle if he, likewise, meets his maker by the end of the movie.
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