Marvel announced this morning that Robert Downey Jr will return to the role and armor of Tony Stark's Iron Man for the second and third Avengers films.
This is a tremendous weight off the shoulders of fanboys and girls everywhere. This comes after months of presumed negotiations between the star and Marvel Studios and its parent studio, Disney. There had been rumors that Downey was holding out for better pay for his costars. Whether these demands were met or not has not been revealed, but I’m sure we’ll find out in the months to come as Marvel and Disney trots out casting details at this summer’s upcoming San Diego Comic-Con and the D23 Expo in Anaheim. Previously, Marvel had played off the controversy with the idea that “anyone” could take on the role of Tony Stark, much like many men have filled the shoes of James Bond or Doctor Who over the years, but fans weren’t buying it. Sure, there really will come a day when someone else will have to take on the role of Tony Stark, but hopefully that will be many, many years (decades) from now. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role at this point.
Not surprisingly, there has been no mention of future Iron Man films at this time. With Marvel movie May release dates already picked out through 2017, expect news on those by the end of the summer, but odds are that neither will be Iron Man 4.