An interview with HitFix suggests that Gwyneth Paltrow may not be returning to the hotly-anticipated 2015 Avengers follow-up, Age of Ultron, as the actress has stated that " phone has not rung" with regard to the sequel. Paltrow remarked, "I don't think so, nobody has asked me", before asking what the film's title was, suggesting that she hasn't been involved with its production, nor even really been kept abreast of what's next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the movie is still a little under two years away, the fact that the vast majority of the key cast members have already had their appearances confirmed, from the Avengers line-up to villain James Spader, implies that Pepper Potts may be giving Age of Ultron a miss, or that her role will be so small that it can be filmed in just a few days. This is particularly surprising given the hefty screen time that was devoted to Pepper's character in Iron Man 3, which to many suggested that something more substantial was going to come of her in the future (possibly evolving to become her superhero namesake Rescue, something that Paltrow remarks would "be good fun"). Furthermore, if Pepper may not appear in Age of Ultron at all, then one has to ask - why didn't they just kill her off in Iron Man 3 like we all expected? It would have heightened the emotional stakes of Tony's battle with The Mandarin, and cleanly tied up her character rather than having her conspicuously absent in the upcoming movie. Of course, it's still early days yet, so we could hear a casting announcement, but for now, it's not looking good. Avengers: Age of Ultron is due for release on May 1st, 2015.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.