*Warning, this post contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
Since you’ve seen the movie (we’re assuming), you know what happens: Tony Stark dies. He gave up his “second” chance for billions of people who couldn’t make it. He sacrificed himself for the greater good. Pure heart, isn’t he?
But what if we need Iron Man again? Or even Tony’s genius mind?
Earth is not done with threats and our Earth’s mightiest heroes do not have any fewer enemies. They’ve managed to piss off every single one of them.
So, we raise the question. Could Iron Man come back for future Marvel movies?
We do not know if he comes back or not but we do have theories of how he could be brought back.
1. Before dying, Tony might’ve transferred his consciousness into a computer.
Tony Stark’s death in the MCU is very permanent. But Tony, as we know it, has always been a genius. There could be a possibility that he created an AI modeled after him. He transferred all of his traits and knowledge into that AI. So, we might not have an Iron Man with us, but we could have an AI with Tony’s consciousness.
A fact supporting this theory is JARVIS. Edwin Jarvis, whom we encounter in Endgame, was Howard Stark’s. Over the years, Jarvis served as a support figure during Tony’s childhood until he eventually passed away. As a tribute to Jarvis, he built an AI which replicates Edwin’s traits. The voice we hear from the AI is the same as that of Edwin Jarvis’.
And this would be the first time someone had transferred his consciousness. One person was able to do this successfully is Arnim Zola. Some of you guys might not remember him but he was the head scientist of Hydra in Captain America First Avenger. After being captured by Captain America, which resulted in the death of Bucky Barnes (or so we thought).
Later he helped SHIELD with his brain and knowledge. But in secret, he asked as a mole and helped the growth of a HYDRA unit inside SHIELD. And when he was near his death he transferred his consciousness on a vast array of servers which was discovered by Captain America in Winter Soldier. So if Zola could transfer his consciousness using the technology he had at that time then there is a very high probability that Iron Man could have done that same.
Also, another question branches: Why did he not talk about this AI in the hologram message he left for Morgan? If he did something like this, he could’ve mentioned it in his hologram message. But we also know that Tony Stark is full of surprises. Anything could happen when it comes to our genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
2. From an Alternate Timeline:
In the hour of need, Tony could be brought back in the future Marvel movies through Time Travel. The way time travel works in MCU, it is totally possible. The Avengers went to the future, retrieved the infinity stones and then brought it to the main timeline to fix things. After they were done, they returned the stones from where they took it and restored the timeline back to the original way.
But in doing so, they created an alternate timeline. As we see through Nebula, Gamora, and Thanos, all characters have different versions of themselves from a different timeline. In this timeline, 2014 Thanos comes to the original timeline of the movie where he’s turned to dust. So, in our timeline Thanos from 2014 is killed.
But since the stones were returned to the timelines from which they were taken, the time continuum is not disturbed.
The best Tony Stark to be brought back from the past is 2014. It is safe since Thanos and his army came over to our main timeline and died here. Which in turn leaves the 2014 timeline free of a major threat. Since it is a threat-free timeline, if our future timeline has a bigger threat that requires Tony, Avengers can bring the real tony of that timeline in here.
Once, the threat is gone, they can return him back to the same time from where they picked him up.