Robert Downey Jr. Returning as Iron Man for 'The Avengers' Sequels
Back in May, shortly after the release of Iron Man 3, it was revealed that Robert Downey Jr. was in talks with Marvel and Disney to reprise his role as Iron Man for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, but there was no discussion of an Iron Man 4. At the time, talks were tense because Downey was taking a stand against Marvel with his superhero ensemble co-stars for a bigger paycheck that includes part of the backend profits on the profitable franchise. The studio has been notorious for lowballing their stars with long term contracts for multiple films, and Downey wasn't having any of that anymore. There was a chance Downey could have been replaced, but Marvel has announced he's locked for two Avengers sequels now.
However, Iron Man 4 is not part of this new deal, so Gwyneth Paltrow's revelation that there might not be another standalone Iron Man movie with Downey and the rest of the crew could be accurate after all. The two-picture agreement at least keeps Downey in the shuffle for The Avengers for awhile. But it doesn't sound like we should expect any Iron Man action in between. In fact, there's a good chance that Downey's role in the superhero ensemble might decrease as the series continues, and maybe a replacement will come to light as Marvel Studios moves through Phase Two and Phase Three of their cinematic universe.
The Avengers 2 hits theaters May 1st, 2015, and while there's no date for The Avengers 3 yet, Disney just locked down dates for two unknown Marvel movies on May 6th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017. The first date seems like an unlikely target since it's just a year after the second film, but perhaps 2017 could work out for The Avengers 3. In the meantime, fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Robert Downey Jr. is still Iron Man.