Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were stunned earlier today when a seemingly innocuous awards post from Deadline spoiled a major part of the Black Widow movie, possibly revealing the involvement of a major character thought to be finished with the franchise. And while Robert Downey Jr. is likely to appear in the movie, reprising his role as Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, it might not be in the aspect of a newly-filmed cameo that many people are expecting. In fact, this news could confirm the rumors and speculation that the film does indeed take place around the same time as Captain America: Civil War.
There's a good chance that Black Widow could be recycling a deleted scene from the third Captain America movie, one that is not included in the special features but has been screened at multiple public events. In this scene, Black Widow and Iron Man have one final confrontation after the final battle with Winter Soldier and Iron Man, echoing their earlier argument when Natasha tells Tony "we played this wrong."
Tony tells Natasha to run, which is what sends her to go into hiding with Steve Rogers and the rest of the Secret Avengers.
It seems likely that this could be the "Iron Man Cameo" that has set the Internet on fire, though it will likely be disappointing to many who were hoping for something more substantial. And this would make more sense considering this deleted scene has never been made widely available to the public, and could easily be repurposed without paying Downey's exorbitant salary to film new scenes.
Plus, it would still serve as a friendly reminder that even though these characters are dead, there are still many avenues for them to appear in future films. It's a win-win-win-lose, with the loser being Downey's bank account.
So far, Black Widow is shaping up to be an epic prequel to Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, fleshing out some events that we partially knew while also revealing new and unexpected details about the super spy. Many fans have been clamoring to learn more about this deadly member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and now they're likely to get a cameo from Iron Man in the process.
As was the early mantra of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, It's All Connected. Let's hope it stays that way.
Black Widow premieres May 1, 2020.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.