There has been much rumor and speculation around Robert Downey Jr.'s future as Iron Man. People were saying Iron Man 3 was the last time we would see Downey as Tony Stark, others said he had already signed on for more movies, few said that Iron Man was gone for good, etc..
We now have confirmation that Downey will indeed reprise the role of Tony Stark for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Now keep in mind that this is a 2-picture deal and it does not include a commitment to a fourth Iron Man movie. This also pretty much guarantees that Tony Stark will not make an appearance in any other Phase Two or Phase Three movies no matter how small the part. Not unless separate contracts are signed.
Seeing that Robert Downey Jr. has made it public that he doesn't want his career to be centered around Iron Man and that he thinks he would like to retire from the character at 50, I think it's safe to say The Avengers 3 will be the last time we have Downey as Tony Stark. If Marvel continues with these characters past Phase Three he will no doubt be absent.
The past seven days
Looks like Tony Stark got more than he bargained for this time around.
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