Variety broke the story that Robert Downey Jr. has been added to the cast of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. We don’t know how big the role is in the film, or if he’ll be suiting up, but the comics have explored the natural bond between the two characters as inventors in the past. Also leaked this week was that the film’s villain looked to be the Vulture and Michael Keaton was in negotiations to join the cast, but those seem to have broken down.
What strikes me as weird is that Marvel would let this leak so soon before Captain America: Civil War. Obviously, it implies that Stark is going to survive the conflict. If they stick to the comic storyline, that would be the case, but the MCU has been known to flip some things on their head. I don’t know why they didn’t sit on this until after the release of the film. At any rate, Robert Downey Jr. was not contracted for anything further than Avengers: Infinity War I & II so Disney must be paying him a metric ton of money to appear in the film. It also cements the Spider-Man solo films firmly in the MCU even with Sony’s quasi-involvement, Marvel is clearly making the creative decisions. Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled for release on July 7, 2017.