So, there’s this scene in Avengers: Infinity War where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are jogging through a verdant New York City park, talking relationship stuff. Tony tells Pepper about a dream of his that featured a pregnant Pepper; Pepper says she isn’t pregnant; and it’s kind of left there. But as anyone familiar with the basic tenets of storytelling will tell you, nothing in a screenplay happens by accident.
Gwyneth Paltrow appears to have spoiled the Avengers 4 story turn that scene very obviously telegraphs, in - of all places - the Official Avengers: Infinity War Magazine.
Pepper and Tony have had a real long journey together. She obviously starts as his dutiful assistant, and then the relationship evolves, and now this decade later they're married, and they have a child. Their relationship has evolved in all of the ways that great romances evolve.
The news here isn’t so much “Tony and Pepper have a child,” but the throwaway phrase “a decade later.” Is Paltrow referring to the decade that’s passed in the real world since the release of Iron Man, or to a time jump at the start of Avengers 4? Those two possibilities are equally as likely, but the latter’s definitely more interesting.
I know I’d be more into seeing a timeline where the universe just moved on and dealt with the sudden disappearance of half its people than an immediate response from the remaining Avengers. It’d make the ending of Infinity War more meaningful (ameliorating one of the key criticisms of many viewers), give the actors dramatic meat to chew on, and set up a time-travel plot, which in the Star Trek IV mould is clearly what all fourth franchise entries should have. Furthermore, set photos from the Avengers 3-4 shoot have shown Ant-Man and Iron Man on set with Avengers 1-era versions of Captain America and Thor, further suggesting that time travel could be on the cards. Perhaps Ant-Man's dalliances in the Quantum Realm could facilitate such a plot. Perhaps not.
Whatever happens, Avengers 4 is bound to feature some significant reality-reshaping plot twists. After all, they wouldn’t make new Spider-Man and Black Panther movies without their leading actors...would they?*
* I’d totally show up for a Guardians of the Galaxy 3 starring Sylvester Stallone, Michelle Yeoh, Ving Rhames, and Miley Cyrus, by the way. James Gunn: you're on notice.