Can you already leave something you’ve already left behind? Apparently, you can as Gwyneth Paltrow says she’ll be done playing Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Avengers: Endgame even though she hasn’t had a substantial role in an MCU movie since 2013’s Iron Man 3. Yes, she’s appeared for the occasional cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, but Paltrow says she’s largely out at this point:
“I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit and all that at this point,” Paltrow, 46, told Variety in this week’s cover story. “I feel very lucky that I did it, because I actually got talked into it. I was friend 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.”
Paltrow did add that if they wanted her for a cameo or something where they only needed her for a day, she would be game for that (again, isn’t that what she’s been doing since 2013?):
“I feel honored to be a part of something that people are so passionate about,” she said. “Of course, if they said, ‘Can you come back for a day?,’ I will always be there if they need me.”
Which kind of seems like a waste of a role at that point. Pepper should be as important to Tony’s story as Rhodey, but she’s largely been a background character because she doesn’t have any powers and Marvel hasn’t deigned to turn her into Rescue like they did in the comics.
Of course, Paltrow’s exit will likely have fanboys spinning rumors about not only her character’s fate in Avengers: Endgame, but Iron Man’s fate as well. If Iron Man dies, there’s really not much use for having Pepper Potts around unless you wanted to make her Rescue. Since that’s apparently not the plan, it would make sense for Paltrow to move on. But whether Iron Man lives or not, the MCU has shown they’ve kind of hit a wall with Pepper as a character, so perhaps it’s better for Paltrow to just say she’s done with the role.