Gwenyth Paltrow didn't know that she appeared as Pepper Potts in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but is that because the film's ending was shot during Avengers: Infinity War's production? As Marvel Studios' cinematic empire has grown, they've developed a generally fluid timeline for their productions. The typically begin filming a year before the release date and then go back for reshoots a couple of months before release. Thanks to the multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe movies being released every year, there is plenty of overlap between the various productions.
This strategy has worked well for Marvel in the past, and the inner-workings of the Marvel machine is further evident by the collaborative nature of these films. We've seen James Gunn direct the post-credits scene for Thor: The Dark World and the Russo brothers film Captain Marvel's mid-credits scene to set up her appearance in Avengers: Endgame. And the scheduling of all these events can even be beneficial for blocking out time for cast members, including those who may not have been featured much recently.
This could be the case for Paltrow, who returned to the MCU in Spider-Man: Homecoming four years after audiences last saw her as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3. The brief appearance kicked off three straight years of appearances for her, as she returned in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. However, in a clip that has recently caught the attention of many online, Paltrow had no idea she was even in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Jon Favreau, who appeared in the scene with her, broke the news to her after she thought she was only in the last two Avengers films. The mix up is a strange one but could be explained away: her scenes were filmed during the production for Infinity War.
Spider-Man: Homecoming ends with Happy Hogan taking Peter Parker to Avengers HQ where Tony Stark presents him with the Iron Spider armor and offers to make him an official member of the Avengers. Peter declines, thinking this is a test, but then Pepper comes into the room asking where he is since she has gathered a group of reporters to see the press conference. Tony explains the situation and suggests that a proposal could be a sweet announcement to make instead. Paltrow only appears for about 30 seconds of screentime, and it would be quite surprising if she flew to Atlanta separately for this one day of work. With Paltrow's confusion, it instead would appear that this scene could have been filmed when she was shooting Avengers: Infinity War in early 2017.
To be clear, the full ending sequence for Spider-Man: Homecoming wasn't done this late in the game. Trailers for the movie featured the scene of Tony and Peter walking through the facility, and Robert Downey Jr. only did a few days of filming on the film as a whole. With Paltrow's initial confusion over her role in the movie, it likely points to the scene being done late in the process. Reshoots on the movie happened in March of 2017 at the same time that Avengers: Infinity War was filming in Atlanta. This very well could be when Paltrow filmed her scene for Homecoming, which was against a CGI background and with Downey and Favreau, as she may have already been working on Infinity War at the time. In both appearances, Downey and Favreau are the only people she is shown on camera with. For what it's worth, Paltrow's addition to Homecoming was only reported after the reshoots took place as well.
If Paltrow did film her scenes as part of Infinity War's production, the questions could then focus on who directed the scene and whether or not this was always part of Homecoming's script. Marvel sometimes saves scenes for the additional photography period if needed for scheduling, and that could be the case here with Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts taking one day (if that) to film this sequence for his movie. The other possibility is that the Russo brothers wanted this scene in the film to establish ahead of time that Tony and Pepper got engaged and that they directed the scenes, which is why Paltrow believed it was for the Avengers films. In either case, this is just us trying to connect the dots on the information we have, but hopefully, we'll learn in the future if Spider-Man: Homecoming's ending was part of Avengers: Infinity War's filming or not.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019