We now know that each of the Marvel/Sony Spider-Man films will see the wondrous Webslinger team up with a different character from Marvel Studios. In the case of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker is working alongside billionaire/genius/playboy/philanthropist Tony Stark, who's acting as a sort of mentor figure to the teenager.
We already knew that some of the supporting cast of Iron Man would be making their way into Homecoming; Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan has been a constant presence in the trailers, after all. Now, though, the official cast list for Homecoming has revealed Favreau isn't the only Iron Man stalwart to appear in the film.
Note: This article contains light spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Gwyneth Paltrow In Spider-Man: Homecoming
Gwyneth Paltrow — better known to #Marvel fans as Pepper Potts — is confirmed to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming! The character hasn't been seen in the #MCU since 2013's Iron Man 3, when Paltrow's three-picture contract with Marvel came to an end. Fans were disappointed that Pepper didn't turn up in last year's Captain America: Civil War, and in fact we were told that Tony and Pepper were on a break. It was something of a slap in the face for fans of the couple, with many complaining that it showed Marvel treated secondary cast members — especially female love interests — as disposable.
Now, it seems Spider-Man: Homecoming will rectify that mistake. The film is set straight after the events of Civil War and will presumably feature at least one scene involving Tony and Pepper. It's unlikely to be a major scene, given that — as recently as January this year — Paltrow was unsure whether or not she'd ever return to Marvel.
The relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts is a fascinating, complex one. Pepper has proven herself as Stark's equal, with the emotional reserve of a superhero, even if she's no longer Extremis powered. What's more, the #IronMan trilogy saw the character gradually take over the day-to-day running of Stark Industries, proving herself as savvy a businessperson as Stark — and probably savvier, given she wouldn't be distracted by a pretty face.
Unfortunately, though, the relationship between Tony and Pepper has been complicated by Stark's superhero identity. Now, in the aftermath of Civil War, how will Pepper relate to a Tony Stark who's trying to take responsibility for his actions? How will she deal with the fact Iron Man has become a mentor?
One thing's for sure — even if this turns out to be nothing more than a single scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it's sure to be a highlight for fans. It will either give a sense of closure to a gaping plot hole in the MCU, or add a poignant moment of hope and love to the ongoing story of Tony Stark. That said, let's face it — this might not be a good time to start dating Tony Stark again. We're in the run-up to next year's Avengers: Infinity War, when Tony — and likely everyone he loves — will be in the firing line. Maybe Pepper would be better off staying away from Tony Stark after all.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hit cinemas July 7. Do you want Tony and Pepper to get back together? Sound off in the comments below.