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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

About a year or so ago, Gwyneth Paltrow popped in the news because it was rumored that she would not be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pepper Potts for the then-upcoming film, Captain America: Civil War. As we know, Paltrow’s contractual obligations ended with Iron Man 3, and the price for re-upping would likely cost a pretty penny to the famously-cheap Marvel Studios. Given that her character is only a key to Tony Stark’s world, it likely didn’t seem worth it to Marvel Studios to spend A-list money for a relatively small character.

Plus, even though she was not in Captain America: Civil War, her character did indeed have an important role to play in Tony’s development. Marvel would still be able to use her character’s non-presence in whatever way they deemed suitable. Like many other Marvel fans, I assumed that would be the last we saw of Pepper Potts. In true Marvel form, they’d find a way to avoid actually showing her on screen. Plus, as Tony’s non-Iron Man presence increased in this world, it would make sense that we’d see a lot less of his personal life.

However, a new rumor seems to indicate that we may see Paltrow’s Pepper as soon as Spider-Man: Homecoming. According to the folks over at Lainey Gossip, Pepper is alive and well in the MCU once again in the flick.

So, assuming we believe this rumor, why the change?

While Marvel Studios does have a hand in this one, this is ultimately a Sony joint. If you’ll recall, way back in 2015 when the deal between Sony and Marvel Studios was announced, it was stated that:

“Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.”

Since Sony is financing this film, it looks like they were willing to foot the bill for Pepper Pott’s grand re-entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While our instinct is to throw this rumor away without a second thought as totally false, it is worth noting that this is the outlet that revealed that Pepper would not be in Civil War despite the statements from Empire seemingly implying otherwise (though those were ultimately correct as well, stating that Pepper had a “key role” in the film, and her non-presence is what made Tony so vulnerable), and as such, I can’t just toss it aside.

There are some extra implications that the outlet makes, however, that seem overly-speculative. They imply that Sony is irked by Marvel Studios’ cheap reputation and are annoyed that hey had to pay to have Pepper return to the fold. That is an opinion that, frankly, seems to hold no water. It’s not as though Marvel Studios has any hand in financing this film, and the creative decision ultimately was with Sony, and assuming Paltrow is back, they had every opportunity not to bring her back.  

On the heels of the reveal of the Venom universe, as well as Amy Pascal’s somewhat careless comments, some outlets seem to be out to find a story where there is none.

But what do you think of all this? Are you excited to see Pepper Potts return, and do you think these are the first cracks in the marriage between Sony and Marvel Studios? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCES: Lainey Gossip

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.