There was some slight doubt if Robert Downey Jr. would be putting on the Iron Man armor again. His contract with Marvel had ended, he carried a huge price tag (he told GQ he made about $50 million from The Avengers), and there was the possibility of recasting the role James Bond-style. But talks began about six weeks ago for Downey to join The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Director Joss Whedon even chimed in saying that he didn’t want to do Avengers 2 if Downey wasn’t on board.
But all those worries can be put to rest. The Tony Stark we know and love isn’t going anywhere. Downey has signed a two-picture deal to star in The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Hit the jump for more.
For those who don’t know, Downey’s contract ran out before everyone else because not only had he been making movies with Marvel longer, but also because he got in before Marvel started issuing their 9-picture deals with all newcomers. But Downey was worth the price as we saw this summer from Iron Man 3. It remains to be seen if any other Avenger can draw the same crowd, but we’ll find out when Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier open this November and April 2014, respectively.
It’s worth noting that Iron Man 4 is not part of the deal, which pretty much guarantees that Iron Man 4 will not be part of Marvel: Phase Three. Also, a two-picture deal means that Downey probably won’t show up in any other Marvel movie besides The Avengers 2 and 3 since any other film would likely count as a picture, no matter how small the role.
Additionally, I suspect The Avengers 3 will be his last go-round with the role. Downey previously mentioned that he saw 50 as a good age to retire from the character, and he’ll be 53 when The Avengers 3 rolls around. The Avengers 2 comes out on May 1, 2015, and since that comes three years after The Avengers, we can assume that The Avengers 3 will probably arrive in 2018. At that point, Downey will have played the character for ten years in seven movies containing two trilogies. If The Avengers 3 is the last time we see Downey put on the armor, it will hopefully be a damn fine finish for the actor who helped jumpstart the Marvel Movie Universe.