It’s a well-worn saying that nobody really stays dead in either comic books or their live-action adaptations with the exception of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben and Batman’s parents, as resurrections are par for the course when it comes to the genre.
Avengers: Endgame marked the final bow for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, but in the two years since, both stars have found themselves linked to dozens upon dozens of projects. Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, hasn’t even made her fond farewell yet with Black Widow not arriving until July, but she’s also been subject to intense rumors and speculation that she’ll be back sooner rather than later.
The most glaring obstacle when it comes to incorporating a multiverse into a franchise is trying not to rely on it as a storytelling crutch to bring dormant fan favorites back from the dead, retcon mistakes or simply explain things away, but it would be an understatement to say that Kevin Feige has earned the benefit of the doubt thanks to his success as the steward of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Upcoming Disney Plus series Loki will follow an alternate version of Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief who escaped from 2012 New York, and in a new interview, Feige teased that he might not be the only character who finds themselves making a comeback under a different set of circumstances.
“It felt very, very final, and I thought, ‘Okay, that’s it. This is Loki’s final bow and a conclusive end to the Odinson saga’. I think the notion that we had left this hanging loose end with Loki gave us the in for what a Loki series could be. So by the time Endgame came out, we did know where it was going. Part of the fun of the multiverse and playing with time is seeing other versions of characters, and other versions of the titular character in particular.”
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That’s hardly a confirmation that we can expect Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow to ride again, especially when Feige has poured cold water on the talk more than once already, but depending on how Loki pans out narratively, it could unlock yet another unexplored corner of the MCU for future filmmakers to explore and may indeed lead to the return of some heroes who have already made their exits from the franchise.