Just weeks before Comic-Con 2013, and mere weeks after Iron Man 3 solidified its position among the top five grossing films of all-time, Disney and Marvel Studios are planning even further ahead than ever before. Last week Disney claimed two more release date slots for unannounced Marvel films coming in 2016 and 2017 and today they’ve officially announced that Robert Downey Jr. will continue to have a key role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel has announced that – after reports of tough negotiations – Robert Downey Jr. has officially signed to return as Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man in both (still untitled) The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3.
Iron Man 4 – at least at this point in time – is not part of the plan for RDJ as he aims to clear up his schedule to pursue other projects.
Despite Marvel holding the (for negotiation purposes) position that they’d be willing to recast Tony Stark, the “I Am Iron Man” quote from the film series couldn’t be truer. Robert Downey Jr. is the poster boy for Marvel Studios’ success and replacing him would be as challenging as it would be disappointing so it was inevitable he’d return in some capacity. Joss Whedon’s praise of the actor and his admittance of having every intention of working with him again for The Avengers 2 – which begins shooting early next year – played out just as we expected and the world can breathe a sigh of relief that he’ll suit up once again when Earth’s Mightiest are forced to join forces in summer 2015.