Marvel's Captain America: Civil War has already started screening for critics and select audiences as it embarks on a global press tour ahead of its May 6 release date. We already know that this superhero adventure will feature almost every established hero within the MCU, with the notable exceptions of Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). But there is another character that we won't get to see as well. The Wrap reports that, despite rumors that surfaced last month, Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts will not be featured in Captain America: Civil War.
Back in February, it was widely reported that Gwyneth Paltrow, who hasn't been seen since Iron Man 3, was brought in to reprise her Pepper Potts role when Captain America: Civil War underwent reshoots earlier this year. That report didn't offer any details as to how she will fit into the story, but sources now claim that the actress was never approached to return for Captain America: Civil War. Pepper Potts appeared in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers and Iron Man 3, but Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) did mention his love interest at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Be warned that there will be minor spoiler for Captain America: Civil War below, so read on at your own risk.
At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, it is inferred that Tony and Pepper are still romantically linked, but sometime between the events of that movie and Captain America: Civil War, something happened, and they are no longer a couple. Towards the beginning of the movie, Tony Stark visits MIT to speak with a group of students. Pepper was also supposed to be in attendance, since her lines are visible on the teleprompter, and Tony appears "visibly shaken" by her absence. Steve Rogers also sends a note to Tony stating "We all need people," which encourages him to try and make things right with Pepper.
It isn't clear if Gwyneth Paltrow will ever come back to the MCU, with the actress revealing numerous times that she's taking a break from acting to focus on her "lifestyle enterprise" known as Goop, which includes a blog, skin care line and other collaborations with retailers. It's possible that we could see her surface in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 or Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, but her involvement has not been confirmed at this point. It's also possible that, with bigger threats on the horizon in the MCU, this story line simply won't be resolved.
Gwyneth Paltrow was last seen in the comedy Mortdecai, and she has been attached to star in the Pablo Picaso biopic 33 días for the past several years, but it isn't known if that project is still moving forward or not. If she does come back to the MCU, it won't be the first time that a character has emerged after a lengthy hiatus. Captain America: Civil War features the return of William Hurt's Thaddeus Ross, who was featured prominently in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, but he hasn't surfaced in the MCU again until now. Are you holding out hope that Pepper Potts could come back to the MCU?