A new report indicates that Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man will not be back for the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. While Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) made his memorable debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year in Captain America: Civil War, the true triumph for Spider-Man fans will come in just a couple of weeks when the character is featured in his first solo film in the MCU.
With the rights of the character owned by Sony Pictures and the majority of Marvel characters the property of Marvel Studios and Disney, the adventures of Spider-Man and characters like Iron Man and Captain America seemed like a pipe dream until Sony and Disney announced a deal in 2015 that allowed Spider-Man was joining the MCU. Subsequently, the arrangement allowed for MCU characters to appear in Sony's Spidey solo project.
For Spider-Man: Homecoming, that character is none other than Tony Stark/Iron Man, who introduced Spider-Man into the MCU fray for the film's pivotal battle scene, with Parker surfacing again (along with Marisa Tomei's Aunt May) later in the film. Stark's role is not only that of a mentor to the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but also the supplier of some of his cool high-tech gadgetry.
For the time being, however, Downey's time on the Sony side of the deal seems to be a one-and-done deal. Sources tell THR that a yet-to-be determined Marvel character will make an appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, but it won't be Iron Man. Which character that will be is obviously a mystery, but there's no question that there's a treasure-trove of potential candidates in the MCU to pick from. On top of that, Spidey will undoubtedly face another high-profile villain following Michael Keaton's Vulture, and whoever plays that nemesis is sure to bring some star power with them.
While Downey is clearly the main attraction in the MCU at the moment, it's hard to say what sort of impact his presence will have on the box office success of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Early indications are certainly favorable, with the film tracking to make somewhere in the $100 million range. If there's any certainty going into the film, Downey's magnetic presence in Spider-Man: Homecoming – even in a supporting role – will only benefit the film, and in no way will hurt it.
Judging on his scenes with Holland in Captain America: Civil War and early clips from Spider-Man: Homecoming, the two obviously have a great chemistry together, which is key; but clearly the function of Downey's character is to properly introduce the new kid on the MCU block so he can eventually swing out on his own with relative ease. Of course, fans shouldn't mourn too much over the fact that Downey won't be appearing in Spider-Man Homecoming 2, since Spidey, Iron Man and his Avengers pals will all be reuniting in Avengers: Infinity War.
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