Iron Man 3 came out in 2013.
That was four years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Four years ago, then, was the last time that audiences got to see Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts appear in a Marvel movie. Having just been transformed into explosive Wolverine (you come up with a better explanation for Extremis!), Pepper kicks some “Mandarin” butt, before watching Tony Stark destroy all his Iron Man suits.
Then, in a hurried voiceover, Tony explains that yeah, sure he fixed Pepper’s new explosive tendencies, because he’s great and her kidnap and subsequent exposure to dangerous unproven science is only a footnote on a story all about how great Iron Man is.
It’s a complicated movie.
That’s the last we’ve seen of Pepper. She’s mysteriously absent in Age of Ultron, to the point that there’s an entire scene about Tony and Thor explaining away their girlfriends’ absences. Funnily enough, the official Marvel line is that both heroes have now been dumped, so the warning signs were all there.
In Civil War, Pepper is namedropped again, and it’s probably safe to assume that a lot of the jerky things Tony does to his friends in that movie is the result of losing his emotional compass. In other words, he punched up and arrested his friends because, let’s face it, he’s kind of a jerk, but less of one when Pepper is around.
Either way, we’d all assumed that Pepper Potts was written out of the MCU forever. Nope, turns out Sony forked over the cash to get Gwyneth Paltrow back for another movie, so she spent at least some time on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, trying to convince the lighting crew to try her new diet plan.
A cast list for Spider-Man: Homecoming states that Paltrow will be returning, playing Pepper yet again – either Tony’s patched things up with his ex, or, more likely, this is going to be a really, really awkward scene.
Especially if Tony’s still trying to cuddle up to Aunt May.
Oddly enough, Paltrow isn’t the only long absent actor to be returning to a Marvel movie in Homecoming. Jennifer Connelly, who played Betty Ross in the abysmal Ang Lee Hulk movie, will be showing up, playing that most iconic of comic book characters, “Karen / Suit Lady”.
Yes, Suit Lady, everyone’s favorite superhero.
It’s a weird role for such a well-known actor, but Peter had better watch out. If Suit Lady wishes that the Goblin King would come and take Spider-Man away, this movie’ll take a hard left turn into Labyrinthville.