Marvel is keeping things about the fourth Avengers movie pretty hush-hush right now, not even revealing the title, but enough is seeping out in hints to form a theory that their MCU founding character could die in the movie.
Completely ignoring the comic “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline where Thanos kills 50% of the life in the universe, which could obviously happen, there’s enough out there about how big of a change Avengers 4 will be to the MCU to form an idea that Tony Stark won’t exist in the universe after the movie.
Most recently a Twitter account that follows Atlanta filming witnessed something Earth-shattering in the filming for the movie, “I saw today what would be an Earth shattering spoiler to the MCU. Like, boom, mind blown. Completely ruined the whole movie for me…”.
Then we have Kevin Feige’s most recent comments about how the post-Phase 3 MCU will begin. He just recently told Fandango:
“The Infinity War movie and untitled Avengers are, yes, just by their nature, very big and are going to have a lot of universe-shattering events happen,” Feige said. “How to process that, how to fathom that, how to come back to earth after that… of course you want Peter Parker to lead you through that.”
If Marvel were to kill off the character who introduced the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was their tentpole for the franchise in Avengers 4, what better character to guide audiences though a world without Tony Stark than Peter Parker who is mentored by him in the MCU?
As the Homecoming sequel is set immediately following Avengers 4, having Spider-Man be shellshocked at the death of Tony along with the audience would be a way for Marvel to kick off the changed MCU that doesn’t have an Iron Man.