We saw Tony Stark's gravestone in Avengers: Endgame. He is dead. Or is he? According to a new Marvel Cinematic Universe fan theory, there's a chance Stark could still be alive, hanging around and continuing his studies, but it's not what you're thinking. Regardless, Robert Downey Jr. is finished with the MCU, though he may be able to come back as some kind of Marvel Studios Force Ghost at some point down the line.
According to a new thread on the Fan Theories subreddit, Tony Stark uploaded his consciousness and created an A.I. backup. Tony Stark's physical body passed away during Avengers: Endgame when he provided the snap that wiped out Thanos and his army, but we see the character show up again at the conclusion of the movie in hologram-form. "What if the hologram we saw was his A.I. but not his hologram? Yes, it is very possible," says the fan theory.
The Avengers: Endgame fan theory goes on to point out that the supposed Tony Stark hologram at the end of the movie was maybe a little too good, even for Stark. "How would Tony know that Morgan would be sitting on the Sofa?," asks the MCU fan. "Also, how would he know the location from where the hologram was getting projected?" These are valid points, but this is stretching it pretty far, even for the MCU. But, there are ways that a portion of this theory could work in the future of the MCU.
The 2015 Ironheart comics introduced A.I. after Tony Stark goes into a coma to continue Iron Man's legacy. The "A.I. Stark was shipped to Riri Williams, a child prodigy who had caught Stark's attention, so the A.I. could serve as a mentor to her." This part of the theory has come up many times over the past few months and even came up before Avengers: Endgame hit theaters. MCU fans have known Robert Downey Jr. was on the way out for quite a while, and the same can be said for Chris Evans. Will we see the A.I. version of Stark in the future? That's a maybe at this point and only Kevin Feige and crew know the answer to that.
Avengers: Endgame is now the highest grossing movie of all time and it's going to be hard to come close to touching the success of the Infinity Saga, even for Marvel Studios. While Robert Downey Jr. is more than likely completely done, fans would probably love to even hear his voice in a cameo, if this A.I. theory holds any weight at all. As with everything else Marvel Studios does, this is going to be kept under wraps for a long time. You can head over to Reddit to see if you agree with the full A.I. theory.