Marvel Entertainment announced today that Robert Downey Jr. has signed a two-picture deal to return as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the two sequels to Marvel’s The Avengers.
Downey had been playing a coy public game of “Will I or won’t I sign a new contract?” ever since his initial deal with Marvel ran out after Iron Man 3, but with a reported payday of $50 million dollars from Marvel’s The Avengers alone, it was probably a foregone conclusion that he would re-sign. Sure, Marvel is legendarily stingy when it comes to salaries but Robert Downey Jr. is inarguably the most important reason why they are dominating the box office with upwards of three new films a year and losing him would have been a major blow to the studio.
No terms of the deal were disclosed but it is being described as a two-picture deal so chances are that Iron Man 3 really did close out the solo adventures of (this) Tony Stark. No word on provisions for cameos in other Marvel Studios films either.
The sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers will once again be written and directed by Joss Whedon and is set to start shooting in March 2014 and hit theaters May 1, 2015.