Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about legacy, with several Phase One stalwarts being cycled out of the mythology and replacements already waiting in the wings to suit up, inherit the mantle and carry the franchise into the future.
Despite there being over 25 projects in various stages of development for both the big screen and Disney Plus, though, the majority of which are expected to arrive before the end of 2023, not to mention Kevin Feige’s desire to have a steady influx of brand new faces, there are quite a few stars who appeared in the MCU’s very first installment that are still part of the furniture.
It’s been thirteen years since Iron Man launched what would swiftly become the most successful film series in history, and while Robert Downey Jr. might have bowed out, several supporting cast members are still key parts of the MCU. Terrence Howard may have been replaced by Don Cheadle, but Rhodey remains on board and he’s finally set to take center stage in Disney Plus’ Armor Wars.
Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, meanwhile, has now pitched up in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man franchise, Paul Bettany’s J.A.R.V.I.S. became Vision and his consciousness survived the events of WandaVision despite being killed for a third time, and Samuel L. Jackson’s cycloptic exposition machine Nick Fury is also set to headline his own streaming exclusive when Secret Invasion arrives.
As for Gwyneth Paltrow, she’s essentially semi-retired and revealed previously that her time as Pepper Potts was as good as over, but in a new interview, the actresses didn’t rule out dropping by for a cameo appearance in the future.
“I think if it was a small part that I could do in like a day or two, I would of course be open to that.”
Of course, Paltrow didn’t even know she was in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so she’s hardly keeping up to date with the MCU, but it’s not impossible to imagine her showing up in something like Armor Wars given the Tony Stark connection.