Is Pepper In 'Age Of Ultron'?

Considering the gigantic cast that the film boasts, it's not crazy to wonder whether or not Tony Stark's businesswoman girlfriend, Pepper Potts, is included in Avengers: Age of Ultron ? Prior to the film's release — it debuted overseas in April and premieres in U.S. theaters May 1 — all kinds of rumors were flying around the Internet saying various characters would pop up in Joss Whedon's big sequel. With Captain Marvel, Loki, Black Panther and Spider-Man cameos debunked, most of the chatter has died down. However, does Potts somehow have a part to play in all this.

Be warned of SPOILERS from Avengers: Age of Ultron moving forward.

Unfortunately for Potts fans, Gwyneth Paltrow does not reprise her role for Age of Ultron — although, if it's any consolation, she is name-dropped along with Natalie Portman's Jane Foster. During the party scene at Avengers Tower, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are each talking about why their significant others are not in attendance. Tony says that Potts is busy running a billionaire-dollar company, while Thor says Foster is in Europe for her research. The two heroes start a hilarious back-and-forth to determine who has the more impressive girlfriend, but as Thor says at the last moment, "Jane's better."

Potts made a brief appearance in the first Avengers film, as she celebrated the new advancements in sustainable energy. However, when last we saw Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large, she had been infected with the Extremis virus by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) in Iron Man 3, essentially giving her superpowers. At the end of the film, she had a difficult time coming to terms with these changes, though Tony promised to help her deal with it all and rid her of the Extremis technology. It's unclear if he actually succeeded, but at least everything seems to be going back to normal for Potts.

It's unclear when we might see Potts again, or if we ever will. Paltrow told Empire magazine back in 2013 that her contract with Marvel Studios ended with Iron Man 3, and she also told Dish Nation that she heard rumblings that she might appear in Captain America: Civil Warwhich set to debut on May 26, 2016 — but nothing has been confirmed. "My fingers are crossed," she said. "I would love to be Pepper Potts again at some point in my life."

Civil War certainly has a lot of characters to the point one might think it to be another Avengers movie. There's Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Winter Soldier, War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, (presumably) Spider-Man, and villains Crossbones and Baron Zemo, to name a few. Potts could easily fit in among this crowd, but, of course, it all comes down to the story, and if her appearance would best progress the chain of events.

When it comes to Marvel, though, never say never.

Images: Giphy