It’s been a norm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to keep shuffling key characters around the many movies so that none feels left out and to keep tieing the many storylines in the MCU to one important thread – Unity. So it was no surprise when Spiderman: Homecoming was announced to include Iron Man/Tony Stark, just like Hulk and Doctor Strange will appear in Thor: Ragnarok, and most recently, the speculation that Hawkeye will be in Antman and the Wasp.
Now, new information according to LaineyGossip reports that Gwyneth Paltrow will make her return as Pepper Potts in Spiderman: Homecoming, marking her first appearance in the MCU since Iron Man 3 in 2013. The reason for her return this time around is actually thanks to Sony, as their willingness to spend on talent included paying Paltrow to return as her contract had expired.
Pepper’s return may come as a surprise to many as Civil War just introduced the idea that Pepper and Tony were on a break. Tony explained their time apart was due to all the areas he puts attention on not allowing him to be the man Pepper deserves. However, with the Avengers much smaller, a renewed focus in cleaning up after himself by introducing Damage Control, and mentoring Peter could all help his outlook and free him up to focus on their relationship.
There has so far been no mention or sight of Pepper in the trailers, so this should be treated as merely a rumor for now. However, as this is the same source that reported she would miss out on Civil War, it seems likely to be true. If it is, this will be the latest example of Sony integrating the MCU into Homecoming. Outside of the aforementioned connections, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is also returning to aid Tony and Peter. He could be the link that brings the formerly estranged lovers back together depending on his status within Stark Industries at this point, but even if that is not the case, it looks as though Pepper will return in some form.