Robert Downey Jr. Will Return As Iron Man For Avengers 2 & 3

The Avengers will not have to assemble without Iron Man!

Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to return to the Marvel Universe for two more films – including “The Avengers 2” and an additional third “Avengers” installment, Marvel announced on Thursday.

“’I am Iron Man.’ Tony Stark’s famous closing line to the very first Iron Man film takes on new life today as Marvel is pleased to announce the signing of Robert Downey, Jr. to reprise the role of the ‘billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist,’” Marvel said in a statement posted on their website. “Under the two-picture agreement, Downey will star as Tony Stark/Iron Man in ‘Marvel’s The Avengers 2’ and ‘Marvel’s The Avengers 3.’”

PHOTOS: Robert Downey Jr.‘s ‘Iron Man’ Photo Album

RDJ’s last two Marvel films, “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012) and this year’s “Iron Man 3,” are among two of the top five grossing films of all time, collectively earning over $2.7 billion internationally to date.

Back in April, Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege dropped hints about Robert’s future with the franchise.

PHOTOS: Sexy Superheroes

“I don’t think Robert will be playing this character for another 30 years, and I certainly hope the character stays in movies for the next 30 years – just like James Bond… It will take a while to fill any shoes, whether it’s filmmaker shoes or writer shoes or certainly actor shoes,” Kevin told The Huffington Post at the time. “I think Tony Stark is an interesting enough and rich enough character that he can persevere. That being said, I hope that doesn’t happen any time soon.”

Adding, “It certainly is our plan to continue to have Robert Downey in the persona of Tony Stark for many, many years to come.”

“The Avengers 2” is slated to hit theaters on May 1, 2015.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.