Beloved ‘Iron Man’ Star Set To Return in ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’: Report

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Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man

Credit: Marvel Studios

The question now: how will Tony Stark return?

Tony Stark with Black Widow using his hand blaster in Iron Man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Finally Confirms Iron Man’s Return to the MCU

Marvel Entertainment’s inaugural film not only revitalized Robert Downey Jr.’s career but also birthed the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It set the stage for Joss Whedon’s first MCU directorial venture, The Avengers (2012), which fundamentally transformed the superhero movie landscape.

The success of the original Avengers team, dubbed “The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, inevitably led to further individual triumphs for Downey Jr. with Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013).

Randy's Donuts from Iron Man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Following RDJ’s Iron Man/Tony Stark’s pivotal sacrifice to vanquish Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame (2019) and rescue the universe post-Avengers: Infinity War (2018), his presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been conspicuously lacking. Despite extensive speculation regarding his potential comeback, coupled with the emergence of his successor, Iron Man’s involvement has remained limited.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Every ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Cameo We Know So Far

However, it appears that Marvel Studios and Disney are setting something exciting up, a little subtly. New reports about the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine movie (AKA Deadpool 3), the MCU’s only Marvel movie offering in 2024, are teeing up to a big Iron Man return.

Will the Iron Man Franchise Return to the MCU?

Marvel Studios do not want you to forget Iron Man, or his friends.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) dying looking at Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

For years, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has been a central pillar of the Marvel brand — and with the upcoming Avengers 5 (formerly Avengers: The Kang Dynasty) and Avengers: Secret Wars on the horizon (along with Marvel President Kevin Feige’s crazy plan for the Avengers team), as well as RDJ’s own acceptance that Tony Stark is an essential part of who he is as an actor.

According to known Hollywood and Marvel insider Can We Get Some Toast, Happy Hogan (played by Marvel mainstay Jon Favreau) is reportedly returning to the MCU in a surprising way — in the Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson/Deadpool) and Hugh Jackman-led (Logan/Wolverine) Deadpool & Wolverine coming this summer, the first instance where the former 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios).

Longtime Disney darling, actor, and director Jon Favreau introduced audiences to Iron Man’s best friend and Head of Security, Happy Hogan — an early and intrinsic part of the foundational MCU and Iron Man franchise.

Marvel Film News shared @CanWeGetSomeToast’s subscriber post about Favreau joining the cast of Deadpool & Wolverine:



Disney and Marvel are definitely reminding us of his presence with a proper appearance outside of an Iron Man or Spider-Man movie (as another fatherly “Tony Stark” stand-in for Peter Parker), and it could be an indication that Marvel wants Stark’s legacy clear in audiences’ minds — prepping audiences and perhaps hinting that Stark could return sooner rather than later in Avengers: Secret Wars or Disney+ (Disney Plus) Ironheart.

Happy Hogan’s reappearance is not the first old-school Iron Man star slated to return to the MCU. In fact, Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery, AKA the actor who portrayed the fake Mandarin (officially revealed to be Tony Leung’s Xu Wenwu in 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), will return in the upcoming Wonder Man show, directed by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton.

Happy Hogan and Tony Stark did actually return to the MCU in the recent 2023 Disney+ show What If…? in its second season — albeit Multiversal versions of themselves. Hogan turned into a “Purple Hulk,” AKA The Freak from Marvel Comics, alongside the return of Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and several Multiversal still-alive Tony Stark(s), in an interesting (and surprising) revisit of the original Iron Man franchise that has been absent since 2013.

Colonel James Rhodes, AKA Rhodey/War Machine (portrayed by Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrence Howard), will seemingly return in the upcoming Armor Wars. Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts will be next to rejoin the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large.

Do you think Iron Man icon Happy Hogan’s apparent return to the big screen in Deadpool & Wolverine is prepping audiences for Tony Stark’s return? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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