Marvel Is Considering Reviving the Original Avengers Cast
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Perhaps fans haven't seen the last of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Scarlett Johanssonas Natasha Romanoff.
Memorably, RDJ's Iron Man and Johansson's Black Widow perished in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. While the latter would return for her own prequel film, there hasn't been any indication of the two returning in the future of the MCU. However, amid the dwindling box office success of Marvel movies, Variety reported that there have been active talks at Marvel Studios about the possibility of doing a new Avengers film with the original gang, and that would mean bringing back both Downey and Johansson to reprise their respective MCU roles.
According to the report, the possibility has been recently discussed, but Marvel Studios hasn't yet fully committed to the idea. One big issue is that it wouldn't be cheap to bring back those original stars, as it's noted how Downey's upfront pay for Iron Man 3 was around $25 million. With most new Marvel Studios releases making less money at the box office compared to their predecessors, there are also talks about pulling back on the huge budgets for these movies. When it comes to the creative approach, however, that shouldn't be a problem, given how the multiverse would make it very easy to resurrect deceased characters.
Would Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson Want to Return?
Money talks, and a high enough paycheck might facilitate the above returns, but both Downey and Johansson have been pretty open about wanting to move on from the MCU. As Johansson clearly said on Gwyneth Paltrow's podcast earlier this year, “Chapter is over. I did all that I had to do." When Downey as asked by Extra this year if he'd want to do another Iron Manfilm, he suggested that they should ask Tom Cruise instead of him, stating, "Does he [Tom] want to do that?" Addressing Cruise, Downey then advised, "Don't take it."
With or without Downey and Johansson, there are no less than two Avengers sequels currently in development. The first, called Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2026, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings helmer Destin Daniel Cretton in the director's chair. It's possible the title could change, as it's been reported that Marvel has been discussing the possibility of moving forward with another supervillain as the MCU's big bad due to Jonathan Majors' legal troubles. Meanwhile, Avengers: Secret Warsis also set to be released on May 7, 2027.