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Robert Downey Jr signs up for Avengers 2 and 3

Iron Man 3

Story by Jack Foley

ROBERT Downey Jr. has signed up for two more Avengers films, it has been confirmed.

The actor will reprise his role as billionaire Tony Stark/Iron Man for Marvel’s The Avengers 2 and Marvel’s The Avengers 3.

Work on the second film in the series is already well underway, with Joss Whedon returning to direct.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will feature a combination of returning characters and the introduction of new Marvel faces. But it won’t include Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who was deemed surplus to requirements on this occasion by Whedon.

Production on the sequel is scheduled to begin in March 2014 with a release date set for May 1, 2015.

As yet, there is no word on whether Whedon will direct the third film and there is no release date.

But Disney and Marvel are keen to keep the franchise alive for as long as possible given that The Avengers was the top grossing film of 2012 and has grossed $1.5 billion worldwide to date.

Downey Jr has played Tony Stark since the first Iron Man film in 2008, reprising the role in Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, which opened in May and has since become the most successful Iron Man film in the series. It is also now the fifth-highest grossing film of all time globally, earning $1.2 billion worldwide to date.

It is not yet known whether the actor would be willing to play Stark for a fourth Iron Man film.

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