When the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer was released, it didn’t take long for fans to pick it apart to trying to deduce the outcome of Avengers: Endgame. While the trailer points to the return of Spider-Man – an obvious one since it’s his movie – and Nick Fury, who were both wiped out of existence in Infinity War, the absence of Iron Man didn’t go unnoticed. Between that and Peter’s interaction with Stark’s bodyguard Happy Hogan, who tells Peter that he’s “all alone”, fans quickly took to social media believing the worst:
That Tony Stark is dead.
However, these days it’s hard to know what to believe regarding upcoming films and TV shows. After years of spoilers and fan theories regularly being leaked online, the entertainment industry has responded by keeping information increasingly under wraps and sometimes spreads disinformation to keep their stories a secret. Directors and actors have learned to stay quiet or play mind games with their fans. Even trailers give little away these days and can be purposefully misleading, as seen with Avengers: Infinity War, which featured a fully transformed Hulk in the climactic battle in Wakanda… instead of Bruce Banner wearing the Hulkbuster suit.
In the latest possible twist, Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. may have debunked the “Stark is dead” fan theory in a recent post on Twitter without directly saying so… while possibly offering his own potential spoiler for fans to speculate on. The post featured side-by-side photos showing himself wearing clothes in the same colour scheme of Snow White, and Captain America star Chris Evans as Prince Charming. Some followers found it hilarious, while others believed it was a statement of how close the actors have become over the years. Yet for some it indicated an entirely different fate for Tony Stark at the resolution of Avengers: Endgame – a fate that stems straight from the Civil War II comic books:
An injured Tony Stark will slip in to a coma, similar to the classic Disney Princess.
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) January 15, 2019
In the comics, Stark’s coma didn’t mean the end of him. An artificial intelligence copy of him existed which would assist the heroes, in particular Riri Williams who dons her own suit of armour and becomes Ironheart. If something similar were to happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would allow a “new” Iron Man (or Ironheart) to exist with a new actor in the franchise, while still allowing Robert Downey Jr. to be a part of it as the voice or holographic image of Stark. It would bridge the gap for many fans, allowing the franchise to continue moving forward without the need for a complete reboot – something few seem to want – or the death of the much-beloved character.
At this stage it’s nothing but speculation, much like the outcry over Stark’s supposed “death” based on very little evidence from that single Spider-Man trailer. Robert Downey Jr’s message could have been little more than a joke, and until Avengers: Endgame comes out all that fans can do is wait and see.