Downey-Iron-Man
“He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him…”

It’s confirmed, Robert Downey Jr. will play Tony Stark in two more Avengers films. He’ll star in The Avengers 2 and the follow-up, The Avengers 3—the sequels to last summer’s runaway smash, The Avengers.

Blockbuster Heroes
The first Avengers film dominated the Summer 2012 box office (with a total international gross of $1.5 billion), and Downey’s curious mix of humor and edge were a major factor (along with killer special effects).

In addition to the Avengers films, Downey has portrayed Iron Man in three of his own films, including the recent Iron Man 3, which to date has banked $1.2 billion. The Iron Man films have been setting the standard for superhero blockbusters and wowing audiences who wonder how they created Iron Man’s special effects.

As for The Avengers director Joss Whedon, the very thought of someone else suiting up in the familiar red and gold iron shell is just too weird to consider. “He is Iron Man,” Whedon stated in one interview. “He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest.”

Hulk Left in the Dark?
The release date for Avengers 3 hasn’t been set yet, but one tantalizing rumor has emerged: The ending of Avengers 2 may find the Hulk trapped in deep space, leading to a “smashing” return to earth in the series’ third installment. We’ll have to wait a little while to find out, since Avengers 2 doesn’t open until May 2015.