The possibility of the original Avengers team returning to the MCU is now more likely due to a Marvel’s reported interest in bringing back the original Avengers cast. This could lead to their appearance in Avengers: Secret Wars. Marvel Studios has various options to bring back the original Avengers, thanks to the multiverse. Loki, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and Deadpool 3‘s multiversal stories could provide key plot elements for their return. While they have left the door open for an MCU return, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson aren’t particularly eager to reprise their roles. However, Jeremy Renner’s return as Hawkeye and Chris Hemsworth’s return as Thor appear more probable, and Mark Ruffalo seems set to come back sooner rather than later.

The most ambitious Avengers: Secret Wars fan theory now seems more probable after reports about the original Avengers team almost returning to the MCU sooner than expected. Every MCU movie released so far has built up to something much bigger than a sequel or a trilogy. Phases 1, 2, and 3 in the Infinity Saga led to the explosive finale of Avengers: Endgame, and the Multiverse Saga will be no different. Just like all the Avengers assembled to fight Thanos, Phases 4, 5, and 6 will likely culminate in a team-up like nobody has ever seen before on the big screen.

The most anticipated of the MCU’s upcoming movies might be Avengers: Secret Wars, which will likely involve most MCU heroes introduced so far, as well as returning variants from all across the multiverse. Seeing all Marvel heroes from different universes assemble in a single movie has been a popular fan theory since Avengers: Secret Wars‘ title and release date were announced. How exactly Marvel Studios will bring everyone together and surpass the high bar set by Avengers: Endgame is still a mystery, but apart from potential multiversal visitors like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, now it’s more likely that dead and retired characters will be present as well.

The MCU’s Original Avengers Are More Likely To Return In Secret Wars

Given the report that Marvel is allegedly considering bringing back the original Avengers, the original cast’s return to the MCU is now more likely than ever. Marvel Studios reportedly contemplated the possibility of an MCU movie starring the original six Avengers, and this movie is far from being a confirmed project, but the fact that this scenario might still be on the table for the studio gives plenty of credibility to the theory that Avengers: Secret Wars will feature the return of characters like Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.

How Marvel Studios Can Bring Back The Original Avengers

After the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, and other characters from different franchises, bringing back the original Avengers may not be a difficult task. The Marvel multiverse provides endless possible explanations for their return. For instance, the MCU could justify the original Avengers’ returnthrough Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ Earth-838, whose alternate Avengers could come for vengeance after Scarlet Witch murdered the Illuminati. In this universe, Downey and Evans could be playing a live-action version of Superior Iron Man and Hydra Supreme, two villainous versions of their original characters.

Otherwise, Avengers: Secret Wars can draw from Loki and Deadpool 3‘s multiversal stories to explain Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow’s appearance. Plot elements from Loki‘s lore such as branched timelines, the destroyed Time Loom, and the TVA’s pruned variants can be key for the return of long-gone characters in Avengers: Secret Wars. Likewise, Deadpool 3 could not only bring Wolverine, Deadpool, Elektra, and other extraneous characters into the MCU, but also new variants of already established MCU characters. Whatever route Avengers: Secret Wars might choose, the explanation for the original Avengers’ return wouldn’t need to take up too much screen time.

Marvel’s reported talks about bringing back the original Avengers cast suggests an MCU reunion might be arriving sooner than expected. However, the decision to return exclusively depends on each individual actor. As of early November 2023, the original Avengers cast hasn’t provided any solid hint at their possible appearance in an upcoming MCU project, but some of them have left the door open for an eventual return.

Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. has made it clear that his MCU journey has concluded, but also that he doesn’t reject the possibility of an eventual return. In a 2020 Extrainterview, Downey approached his possible Iron Man returrn carefully, saying “anything could happen”, but also, “as far as I’m concerned I’ve hung up my guns and I’m good to let it go.” That same year, Downey expounded his thoughts about Iron Man’s return on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, saying

“There would have to be a super compelling argument and a series of events that made it obvious. But the other thing is, I wanna do other stuff.”

Evidently. Robert Downey Jr. is satisfied with his work on the MCU and likely wouldn’t be disappointed if he’s not asked to return. A few years after Avengers: Endgame, Downey played a very different role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which allowed him to explore new artistic ventures far away from the world of superheroes. It’s possible that RDJ would accept to come back as Iron Man for Avengers: Secret Wars, but the actor’s return is nothing but speculation at the moment.

Chris Evans – Captain America

Unlike Robert Downey Jr., Captain America actor Chris Evans has been open about his possible MCU return. Ever since Avengers: Endgame‘s release, Evans has commented multiple times, saying “I’ll never say never” (per GQ), “It doesn’t quite feel right, right now” (per Comicbook), “I’m apprehensive of doing anymore, because I’m just so precious about it” (per AP Entertainment, via X), and “to revisit it, it would be a tall order.” (via Comicbook). Evans is seemingly hesitant about altering his Captain America legacy. After all, Captain America’s MCU journey had a very clear beginning, middle, and conclusive end. Curiously, Evans seems more eager to return as the Human Torch, as he explained to MTV News in 2022, “that would actually be an easier sell to me than coming back as Cap.”

Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson is less likely to return to the MCU than Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans after her dispute with Disney in 2020 over the simultaneous release of Black Widow in theaters and Disney+, which the actor claimed affected her earnings given that her earnings were largely based on the movie’s box office performance. In 2021, Johansson and Disney settled the lawsuit, but Johansson’s MCU return seemed to be off the table. In April 2023, Scarlett Johansson denied her MCU return on The Goop Podcast, saying, “I’m done. Chapter is over. I did all that I had to do.” In a June 2023 talk with, the Black Widow actor revealed that an MCU project involving Johansson was still active despite logistical delays.

Jeremy Renner – Hawkeye

Although Hawkeye saw Clint Barton passing on the torch to Kate Bishop, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye hasn’t officially retired in the MCU. However, Jeremy Renner’s serious snowplow accident on New Year’s Day 2022 put the future of his acting career into question. Fortunately, Renner provided an update five months later at Phoenix Fan Fusion, confirming that he’s ready to return to acting, and more specifically the MCU, if asked. Compared to Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner’s MCU return seems quite likely, and it’s possible that Hawkeye will return in Avengers: Secret Wars alongside his disciple, Kate Bishop.

Chris Hemsworth – Thor

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is the first MCU Avenger to star in a fourth solo movie, having led Thor: Love and Thunder three years after his appearance in Avengers: Endgame. But while Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ending leaves the door open for Thor to come back, Chris Hemsworth has revealed one condition for his MCU return. After Thor: Love and Thunder‘s mixed reception due to the movie’s comedic tone, Hemsworth told GQ that he’s willing to come back as the God of Thunder “if there is something new” and that “it has to become a bit more personal and grounded.” With Thor 5 still a mystery, Thor’s return in Avengers: Secret Wars could satisfy both Hemsworth and the audience.

Mark Ruffalo – Hulk

Little has Mark Ruffalo said about his MCU future, as he seems quite happy with his journey in the franchise. In fact, while it’s uncertain what path Smart Hulk’s MCU future will take, he’s the Avenger with the most chances to remain an active character for the rest of the Multiverse Saga. After all, Smart Hulk has found peace in his personal life, but he’s still willing to join the action when his colleagues or his family, like Jennifer Walters a.k.a. She-Hulk, need his help. And considering how She-Hulk: Attorney At Law‘s finale set up a proper Hulk MCU movie with a few World War Hulk teases, it’s now possible for the Gamma monster to receive a bigger MCU role before Avengers: Secret Wars arrives.

Sources: Extra, Joe Rogan Experience, GQ, X, ComicBook, MTV News, The Goop Podcast,

Marvel’s reported talks about bringing back the original Avengers cast suggests an MCU reunion might be arriving sooner than expected. However, the decision to return exclusively depends on each individual actor. As of early November 2023, the original Avengers cast hasn’t provided any solid hint at their possible appearance in an upcoming MCU project, but some of them have left the door open for an eventual return.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 The original Avengers’ might return a bit later.  Read More