Contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame
The death of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame was an emotional high point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on the film’s second trailer, the shockwaves from his passing continue into new Spider-Man movie Far From Home
Mourning his mentor, Tom Holland’s web-slinger is haunted by murals and reminders of Tony, and feels a great pressure to pick up his heroic mantle – but could Iron Man’s presence be more significant than anyone has realised?
Well, that’s a theory that’s been kicked around by a few fans following new footage of Far From Home that shows Peter Parker wearing Tony Stark’s high-tech sunglasses and building new armoured costumes for himself.
The theory goes that possibly the AI in Peter’s inherited glasses – or inside Tony’s tech – will be based on the personality of the late Mr Stark himself, allowing for a cameo from Robert Downey Jr as a computerised version of himself who could help Peter through his troubles.
There is some precedent for this in the comics, after all, with an AI version of Tony Stark mentoring his successor Ironheart (aka Riri Williams) following the real Tony’s death. While the AI isn’t really Tony, it retains some of his personality and mannerisms, making for tough interactions with his grieving friends and relatives.
And while it could be considered too soon to get Iron Man back right after his death – arguably, it would undercut the emotion of Avengers: Endgame – an AI Tony Stark could tie in with Far From Home’s arc of Peter standing on his own two feet, allowing him to properly say goodbye to this version of his superhero sponsor and switch off the AI to strike out alone.
It could also be that a Robert Downey Jr cameo need not be quite this involved to make an impact – Tony could just have left another video message for Peter like the one played at his funeral – and given just how prominent Iron Man is in the promotional material for this film, it’s hard to see how they could avoid some kind of story payoff (especially considering how big a part he played in the first Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Of course, we could be completely wrong and the extent of Iron Man’s involvement could just be in the painted murals and memorials we’ve already seen, plus the presence of his old friend and colleague Happy (Jon Favreau) at Peter’s side.
But whatever the truth, it’s clear that Iron Man’s shadow will loom large over Spider-Man’s next adventure. We’re sure he’ll do him proud.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is released in UK cinemas on the 2nd July