The sequel to "Avengers" will not hit theaters for another three years, but actress Gwyneth Paltrow is already throwing a wrench in expectations by announcing that she may not return for the blockbuster follow-up.
"I don't know," Paltrow told E! News at the Toronto Film Festival. "I'm getting old for this shit, you know what I mean?"
Paltrow, who just got off filming "Iron Man 3," may not resume her role as Pepper Potts, the love interest of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) in "The Avengers 2."
Director Joss Whedon reportedly cast Paltrow in "The Avengers" at Downey's insistence. The "Iron Man" actor insisted that her character, Pepper, was needed in the film to complete his character's arc.
"You need to separate the characters from their support systems in order to create the isolation you need for a team," Whedon said last April at a junket, the Los Angeles Times reported. "But Pepper, this was really Robert’s thing. He pushed hard... He really thought Gwyneth would bring something great to the table, and we all thought so as well, but he was the one who convinced her to come and do it."
"He didn’t want to be sort of, crazy alone guy, he wanted to be crazy in-a-relationship guy," Whedon added.
Although Pepper was introduced as Iron Man's lady love in "The Avengers," it is unclear if the role is needed past this point.
Paltrow, who was at film festival promoting her small sex-addiction dramedy "Thanks For Sharing," said that her children, Apple and Moses, prefer the superhero films over the smaller ones.
"It's nice to have that mix," she told E! News. "I just came off 'Iron Man 3' which is like as effect-y and action-y as it gets. And then to do something like this where it is just very human and small and funny, it's exciting. It's good. It's a good balance."
"The Avengers 2" is slated for a May 1, 2015 release date, Disney confirmed in August. Whedon will both write and direct the upcoming sequel.
The main team will likely return, including: Robert Downey, Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki).
"The creation of the team is not the happy ending," Whedon told 24 Hours Vancouver. "It is the beginning of something that is complex and difficult, and now I get to dig a little deeper. And maybe, while I'm digging, just twist that knife. And that's exciting for me."