Robert Downey Jr. fought for Gwyneth Paltrow’s inclusion in ‘The Avengers’

The big picture

  • The Avengers had to exclude many supporting characters, but Robert Downey Jr. pushed to include Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts.
  • Pepper Potts was crucial to Tony Stark’s storyline and played a significant role in the MCU, even donning her Rescue armor Avengers: Endgame.
  • Iron Man’s character development throughout the MCU’s first decade relied heavily on Pepper Potts, helping to shape him from a selfish billionaire into a devoted husband and father.

The Avengers was the first major team-up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while the 2021 film had the rare luxury of having most of its cast, including its villain, already established in previous films, the majority of the burden it had to carry was focused on The focus is on tying the heroes together in a believable way, all within a reasonable running time. Due to this burden, many supporting characters from the previous films had to be replaced The Avengers. Apart from Gwyneth PaltrowPepper Potts, the heroes’ closest acolyte, did not make it to theaters, nor did the writer and director Joss Whedon calls Iron Man himself (Robert Downey Jr.) for Pepper’s recording.

Robert Downey Jr. made sure Gwyneth Paltrow was included in The Avengers

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in 2012's The Avengers
Image via Marvel Studios

In 2012, during a promotional press tour before the film’s premiere, The Los Angeles Times reported about Whedon’s initial tendency to exclude the majority of the supporting characters The Avengers. “You have to separate the characters from their support systems to create the isolation you need for a team,” he told the publication. Ultimately, it was Downey Jr. who brought in Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. “But Pepper, that was really Robert’s thing,” Whedon continued. “He pushed hard… He really thought Gwyneth would bring something great to the table, and we all thought so too, but he was the one who convinced her to come and do it.”

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow are “done” with the MCU.

Of all the supporting characters in the MCU, Pepper Potts was the most important to Tony Stark’s storyline

Pepper Potts and Tony Stark almost kiss in Iron Man 2008

With The AvengersAbove all, the love interests had to be put aside. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must bring Erik Selvig with him (Stellan Skarsgard) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the service of the conspiracy, but there was no room for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) outside of Thor’s solo films. Captain America (Chris Evans) literally abandoned its supporting cast in the previous century after time was frozen, and the non-superpowered Avengers – Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – would not start their own solo ventures until later Avengers: Endgame.

The incredible Hulk didn’t even keep his Bruce banner, with Edward Norton is replaced by Mark Ruffaloand his supporting characters would be left on the bench for some time. William HurtThaddeus Ross only returned in 2016 Captain America: Civil War, Tim Roth‘s Emil Blonsky is finally experiencing a resurgence after-Endgameand phase five of the MCU will reportedly bring Liv Tyler And Tim Blake Nelson back into the fold with Captain America: Brave New World.

However, Pepper Potts was an integral part of the Tony Stark and Iron Man storyline from the start. Pepper herself even became a bigger part of the MCU, appearing in her rescue armor in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame. At the aforementioned press conference, Joss Whedon added: “[Robert Downey Jr.] “I didn’t want to be a crazy solo guy, he wanted to be a crazy relationship guy,” and that title would ultimately develop perfectly before Tony Stark died Avengers: Endgame. From a completely selfish billionaire/playboy/philanthropist to a husband and father ready and willing to take the self-sacrificing step, Iron Man couldn’t have evolved in the first decade of the MCU without Pepper showing Tony the man he wanted to become.

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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