April 21, 2016
Robert Downey Jr. Will Co-Star In 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Robert Downey Jr. will not only appear in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film, reports today suggest that Iron Man might have a much larger role than expected in Spidey's first official outing in Marvel's Cinematic Universe.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the witty web-slinger will be joined by Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, who will reportedly do more than make an appearance in the Marvel-Sony film. Robert Downey Jr. reportedly signed a new deal with Marvel and Sony to appear in the film, a deal separate from his original contract with Marvel, in part due to the peculiar licensing responsible for the upcoming Spider-Man film.

Robert Downey Jr. has officially joined the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, confirming speculation that Iron Man would make an appearance in the new Spidey film, which many fans had hoped for ever since the announcement that Spider-Man would debut in Captain America: Civil War, which arrives early next month. In Civil War, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) introduces audiences to the new Spider-Man. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) share a close relationship, with Iron Man mentoring the web-slinging newcomer. Fan speculation has suggested that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) might play a role in designing Spider-Man's costume, suggested by the high-tech eye mask Spidey shows off in the latest Civil War trailers.

As Robert Downey Jr. joins the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it's likely he'll play more than just a walk-on role, co-starring alongside Oscar-winning actress Marissa Tomei who plays Peter Parker's Aunt May Parker. Downey Jr. has already commented on late-night talk shows that Aunt May (Marissa Tomei) keeps getting younger and younger in each subsequent Spider-Man film, suggesting to fans that he will likely share scenes with Marissa's May and Holland's Peter Parker.

Spider-Man: Homecoming won't hit screens until 2017, but fans have been hard at work teasing out every single detail suggested by several behind-the-scenes reports, including Robert Downey Jr.'s casting and his special contract. Homecoming is the name of a popular arc in the Spider-Man comics, one which prominently features the Avengers and Tony Stark. However, it remains unclear just how much screen time Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man will get in the upcoming film, but it's likely Iron Man will play a role similar to that of his comics counterpart in the Homecoming story arc.

Robert Downey Jr. has joined the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming ahead of the film's shooting schedule, which starts June of this year, fueling speculation that Downey Jr. will be a significant figure in the film similar to his role Captain America: Civil War. Marvel studio head Kevin Feige has stated the studio plans to do similar cross-casting of Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes.

"He is in the universe now, and the fun of the universe is that characters go back and forth," said Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio head and producer of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Robert Downey Jr.'s role in Spider-Man: Homecoming will mark the second time that Iron Man could play a prominent role in another Marvel hero's solo film. Captain America: Civil War prominently features Downey Jr.'s Iron Man alongside the two Avengers films. Iron Man himself hasn't had a solo film in nearly three years, but Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark continues to be a significant figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in more than just post-credits scenes.

Sony continues to hold the film rights to Spider-Man, but after coming to an agreement with Marvel Studios -- and after Sony's own Spider-Man films failed to perform at the box office -- the web-slinger will be making his Marvel debut in next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]