Fans are still buzzing over the new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that dropped this morning, which offered a better look at the mentor/mentee relationship between young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Iron Man himself, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). We have also known for quite some time that Robert Downey Jr. will be joined by his first Iron Man director and actor Jon Favreau, reprising his role as Tony's bodyguard/driver Happy Hogan, who hasn't been seen on the big screen since 2013's Iron Man 3. Today we have word that Spider-Man: Homecoming will bring back another character we haven't seen since Iron Man 3, Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts.
While this report hasn't been confirmed, Lainey Gossip reports that, since Gwyneth Paltrow's contract with Marvel has expired, Sony Pictures had to pay the actress, which has reportedly become a "problem" for the studio, with the studio experiencing some "sticker shock" in regards to how much they're having to shell out for this joint production with Marvel Studios. The report claims that Marvel would have to "pay out the nose" to bring Gwyneth Paltrow back under a new contract, so her salary was paid by Sony instead. Still, there is no confirmation from either studio that Pepper Potts is coming back.
There were reports that Pepper Potts would be featured in both 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron and last year's Captain America: Civil War, but they both turned out to be false. Pepper Potts was in fact mentioned by Tony Stark at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and in the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, it is revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow's character is no longer dating Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, although she still does serve as the CEO of Stark Industries. If this report is true, and Pepper Potts is returning to the MCU, it may be just a one-time appearance, if Marvel doesn't want to bring her back with a new contract.
After her Marvel contract expired with Iron Man 3, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed she planned to take a break from acting, to focus on her lifestyle enterprise known as Goop. Over the past four years, she has only appeared in one movie, 2015's Mortdecai alongside Johnny Depp, and appeared in episodes of Glee and Web Therapy in 2014. She has also signed on to play Dora Maar in the upcoming film 33 dias, but it isn't known when that project will be moving forward. Marvel has been known to throw in a few surprise characters that aren't announced until just before the movie comes out, so it's possible that Gwyneth Paltrow may be one of Spider-Man: Homecoming's surprise cast members.
Just before the Avengers: Age of Ultron world premiere in 2015, it was revealed that actresses Linda Cardellini and Julie Delpy had secret roles in the movie, with Linda Cardellini playing Hawkeye's new wife, and Julie Delpy playing one of Black Widow's training instructor when she was just a young girl. There were also a few surprises in Captain America: Civil War, with Jim Rash, who previously worked with directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo on Community, appearing as an MIT liaison in Captain America: Civil War. As for this Spider-Man casting, it remains to be seen if we'll get any confirmation soon, as we get closer and closer to Spider-Man: Homecoming's July 7 release date.