In a scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony Stark is shown to be attending a ceremony, very possibly a wedding ceremony, in what looks like India. (I'm Indian, I would know).

Now, Tony Stark is obviously a very busy man. It seems like someone would be very important to him in order for him to fly halfway around the world to simply attend a wedding.

Admittedly, I haven't read a lot of Iron Man comics, but the ones I have never featured an Indian character, let alone someone that close to Tony.

An alternative explanation would be that the attending a wedding ceremony is a cover for some Avengers business, but again I'm drawing a blank on possible allies or enemies canonically located in India according to the MCU.

Bruce Banner did mention that he was in Calcutta back in Avengers, but that tenuous connection is all I can think of.

So why exactly would Tony Stark attend an Indian wedding? Is there something in the comics which would provide a clue?

  • In-universe or out-of-universe? – Edlothiad Jul 11 '17 at 10:33
  • I think out of universe explanation would be like "To woo Indian viewers" and that is most likely the answer. I would love to see if there is any in-universe answer. – HBhatia Jul 11 '17 at 10:40
  • Unfortunately I don't see there being any likely in-universe answer. But yes, out-of-universe was to woo indian viewers – Edlothiad Jul 11 '17 at 10:42
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    Interesting that you bring up Bruce Banner talking about his 'hideout' in Calcutta.. Maybe Tony is searching for his therapist? :o – Stormie Jul 11 '17 at 10:43
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    @Edlothiad: Oh. That's what you meant by out of universe. I misunderstood. But in that case, Indian box-office returns are not that significant to merit this; as against other countries like China. I haven't seen a lot of India pandering in recent Hollywood movies. Maybe this is changing owing to The Jungle Book overperforming here, which was also a Disney production, and we're seeing the first signs of 'wooing' Indians. – Tushar Raj Jul 11 '17 at 10:47

According to the film's junior novelisation (which contains a slightly different version of Peter and Tony's conversation, possibly from an earlier version of the script) Tony claims to have traveled to India to 'center himself'

“So where are you?” I asked, looking around suspiciously. I half expected to see a drone in the sky spying on me.
“India,” came the response. “I thought I’d hit up a Hindu temple. Center myself. That sort of thing.” Wow, I thought. I guess when you have Stark money, you can do stuff like that. “Thank God this place has Wi-Fi or you would have drowned.”

It doesn't mention whether he has an ulterior motive for flying half-way around the world but I think we can assume that he's not just there for his (mental) health.

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    Did they imply that finding Wi-Fi in India is rare? That's racist.. – Umbrella Corporation Dec 30 '18 at 9:33
  • @Endgame - According to this article, there are less than 600,000 wifi points in the entire country (approx 1 wifi point for each 1200 people) and that includes private wifi. It's not racist to say that India is a country where finding reliable (open) wifi is a rarity, although I suspect that those that live in the city find it a lot easier. – Valorum Dec 30 '18 at 10:53
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    1 WiFi points per 1200 people? Now, analyze Russia by WiFi points per unit area. Obviously, you need to limit the domain to particular society which Tony Stark would access. You should also know that nobody uses open/free WiFi in India because 4G data is very cheap. 40GB for $2. People use WiFi in home for other purposes like gaming, Chromecast remote etc. – Umbrella Corporation Dec 30 '18 at 12:22
  • Starbucks, Indian Railway, Airports etc offer free WiFi only for poor international tourists who can't afford a global SIM. – Umbrella Corporation Dec 30 '18 at 12:26
  • @ILoveYou3000 Really? Racist? What does this have to do with race in any way? – user91988 Jul 18 '19 at 16:19

There is probably no in-universe explanation to this.

Out-Of-Universe per Forbes Article

I suspect the scene was slyly placed in the movie as a pleasant Easter egg for Indian viewers to discover, a kiss blown in their direction, rather than as a more aggressive attempt to pander to them. I’ve come to this conclusion because when I inquired with Sony Pictures Entertainment, India, as to why the Indian scene was included in the film, they simply referred me to the L.A.-based executives at Sony and Marvel. I assume they hadn't been advised of the thinking behind that particular decision.

Homecoming producer Kevin Feige made reference to the scene during an interview last year, but he didn’t go to the trouble of explaining the reason for it.

Whatever the studios' intent, Indian audiences have given the new picture a hearty welcome, with a 41.7 crore rupees / $6.45 million opening weekend that established a new record for Sony Pictures' India releases.

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  • There could be a ridiculous number of in-universe explanations. Maybe he was dating Rina Patel, Kavita Rao or Ravi Ross. (Hmm; as it turns out, the vast majority of Marvel characters from India are in the X-men mutant-verse, which MCU cannot use. I expected far more "young, female, possible people for Tony to date") – Yakk Jul 11 '17 at 16:04
  • @Yakk, Yes but there is nothing concrete to back that. – HBhatia Jul 12 '17 at 6:42

In-universe, there was a powerful Indian character in the MCU.

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This guy was a member of World Security Council. Wikia says his name is Nagendra Singh (which is an Indian name), but I don't think his name was ever mentioned. Talking about his nationality, we have hints.

He said this in Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

Considering this attack took place one mile from my country’s sovereign waters, it’s a bit more than that. I move for immediate hearing.

The International Waters here belongs to Indian Ocean. So, it narrows down to few countries like India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Egypt etc.

Later, Alexander Pierce told him:

Let me ask you a question: what if Pakistan marched into Mumbai tomorrow, and you knew the they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium for execution. And you could just stop it, with the flick of a switch, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you all?

It tells with 99% probability that his nationality is Indian. Or, at least, his origin is India.

Although, this guy is dead now, it is possible that Tony Stark developed a close relationship with his family.

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    "But, it is not necessary that Tony was in India. An Indian family in US doesn't lose their culture." Well while the events happend it was night where Spiderman was and bright day where Tony was. So i guess they were not in the same country. – Clayn Jul 18 '17 at 11:25
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    +1 for finding a genuine Indian character in the MCU – Tushar Raj Jul 18 '17 at 11:31
  • @Clayn Wow. Great observation. – Umbrella Corporation Jul 18 '17 at 11:39
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    So, there's a dead Indian character - who never shows up in the same movie as Tony, and there's no evidence that they've even met - but you're theorizing that Tony is close friends with his family. And you're basing this on....what? – phantom42 Jul 18 '17 at 13:11
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    @phantom42 There was a lady whose face matched with that of this dead Indian character, meaning she could be his blood relative. – Umbrella Corporation Jul 18 '17 at 18:17

I agree with the notion of Tony Stark being in India as a cover for Avengers work. Here's my theory:

What if Stark was trying to look into activities related to Dr. Strange? Given the setting, it appears to be a wedding located in India. However getting from India to Nepal (where Kamar Taj is) isn't all that difficult. It's a decent enough cover not to raise any suspicions.

And we know that Dr. Strange will be in both Thor 3 and Avengers 3.

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    Seems like a pretty good theory. Just so you know this is a Q&A site not a forum. So we expect you to provide an answer not a discussion topic. Your answer however is perfectly viable and seems possible. – Edlothiad Aug 24 '17 at 10:20

It could be because Flash (Peter Parker's rude, bullying high-school "nemesis") seems to be Indian, and they've added Tony's visit to balance out the negative portrayal of an Indian character?

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    Is this speculation or do you have a source for this? – amflare Sep 28 '17 at 16:20
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's nothing in the movie to indicate that Flash is Indian. The actor who plays him is of Guatemalan descent (not Indian), in case that was the reason for your hunch. – Tushar Raj Sep 28 '17 at 16:21

While there's no official in-universe reasoning that I can find (and out-of-universe reasoning for the scene is discussed in other answers), there could be a perfectly logical in-universe reason for him to be there: he was invited!

He need not be terribly close to the person involved. The invitation could have been extended as a courtesy among colleagues, and he thought it would be fun to attend, or he could be funding the celebration in a random act of generosity; neither of these things is out of character for Tony.

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