“I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit and all that at this point,” Paltrow told the trade. “I feel very lucky that I did it, because I actually got talked into it. I was friend[s] with [Iron Man director] Jon Favreau. It was such a wonderful experience making the first Iron Man and then to watch how important it has become to fans.”
It’s a heavy pill to swallow for Marvel fans who loved seeing the development of the character. The former secretary of Tony Stark, she evolved into not only his love interest, but also his business partner. In last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, the couple were discussing the possibility of starting a family. That was before Tony got caught up in the latest galactic battle for survival and abandoned in space. We don’t yet know if Pepper was snapped out of existence by Thanos, but the first trailer for Endgame showed Tony recording a message for her all the same.
Does Paltrow’s exit mean Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man is also done after Endgame? That remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a big possibility. We can’t imagine all of our heroes make it to the next stage of Marvel films. But then again, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster left the franchise after Thor 2, and Chris Hemsworth still stuck around, so anything is possible.
Paltrow told Variety she isn’t opposed to popping back in for a flashback or cameo somewhere down the line, so it’s very possible we aren’t totally finished seeing the character. Who knows what the future may bring?
We’ll see how this all shakes out in the meantime when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26.