A new report suggests Robert Downey Jr. is returning as Tony Stark/Iron Man for Black Widow. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4, Black Widow is actually set after the events of Captain America: Civil War but before Avengers: Infinity War, making it a prequel rather than a continuation of the post-Endgame story.
Starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role, Black Widow will also include David Harbour suiting up at Russia's version of Captain America, Red Guardian, as well as Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh as other Black Widow agents. The main villain of the film is Taskmaster, a character who is a formidable foe thanks to his "photogenic reflexes" that allow him to quickly observe and copy any person's fighting style. Up until now, there had been little to no mention of what allies Natasha Romanoff may have in the film, but according to one report, Black Widow may see a very familiar face returning.
In a report from Deadline covering the Saturn Awards, it's mentioned that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man for Black Widow, releasing in May 2020. Previously, this news circulated as rumor given how Black Widow's setting can allow for multiple cameos and appearances from other MCU characters, but this appears to be the first time any mention of Downey Jr.'s return has appeared outside of pure speculation.
Deadline doesn't offer any more information on Black Widow in their article and their mention of Downey Jr.'s return is surprisingly casual. If he is, in fact, reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the film, then it's potentially just for a cameo or a very minor role. In the Black Widow footage screened during Marvel's Hall H panel at Comic-Con, the clip of Tony warning Natasha "They're coming for you," from Civil War is used before leading into new footage from the film. That footage includes scenes of Natasha on the run, so it's implied Black Widow will explore the time period when Natasha is hiding from the United Nations. In which case, she may seek out Tony's help or at least contact him at some point in the film. Despite helping Captain America to escape during the airport battle, Tony and Natasha remained friends. Were she truly in trouble, he would help out any way he can.
Then again, while Tony coming to Natasha's aide during Black Widow is a possibility, any involvement on Downey Jr.'s part might also be for a flashback scene. Black Widow is already a prequel, exploring Natasha's journey between Civil War and Infinity War, but it's expected to also further develop her character's backstory. This will likely involve flashbacks to Natasha's training in the Red Room, but it may also include a new perspective on her time with Tony during Iron Man 2. It may even be that Downey Jr. doesn't film a new scene at all, and instead, his appearance in Black Widow is compiled from previously unused footage.
Whatever the reason for Downey Jr. potentially reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man for Black Widow, it's sure to be some time before anything official is announced publicly. After all, while it's possible Deadline accidentally revealed something that Marvel Studios wanted kept a secret, it's also possible that they just got their wires crossed.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022