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Downey signs for THE AVENGERS

Favreau and Cheadle involved with the team pic as well

By Rob M. Worley     October 28, 2008


Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) creating his suit in IRON MAN(2008).
© Paramount Pictures

It's official!

Marvel has announced that Robert Downey Jr. will fulfill his four picture deal with Marvel Studios by appearing as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in both 'Iron Man 2' and 'The Avengers'.

Jon Favreau is also locked to return to the directors chair for 'Iron Man 2' and will serve as an executive producer the Marvel super-team film.

The studio has also made official the casting of Don Cheadle as Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes in 'Iron Man 2'. The actor is also on board for 'The Avengers' and will play the character in any Iron movies beyond part 2. As readers know well, Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard in the role.

"We are very excited about working with the extraordinarily talented Don Cheadle as we expand the role of Rhodey in Iron Man 2. It has already become apparent as we prep the movie for production, that the dynamic between Robert and Don will take Iron Man 2 to new heights," said Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios.

Here's the official log line for 'The Avengers':

In a movie event, THE AVENGERS will bring together the super hero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and more, as they are forced to band together to battle the biggest foe they've ever faced.

It's interesting to note that Marvel specifically calls out the Hulk, but is not yet ready to announce Edward Norton as part of the package.

And, conspicuously absent from the above are Ant Man and the Wasp, both of whom have been speculated as being part of the line up. Those characters could certainly be part of the "and more" though.

'Iron Man 2' is due in theaters May 7, 2010.  'The Avengers' is slated for July 15, 2011.

Cheadle is represented by UTA. Downey and Favreau are represented by CAA.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Pendragon0 10/28/2008 2:34:10 PM

I don't think there was much doubt about this happening.  Still, I kinda wish Favreau would direct and that Howard would have remained Rhodey.

Wiseguy 10/28/2008 2:41:02 PM
<P itxtvisited="1">Beautiful, glad to see some progress being made towards the Avengers and Favreau being on board as a producer should help a lot.</P><BR itxtvisited="1" /> <P itxtvisited="1">Cheadle is on board for the Avengers film as well, guess War Machine may make the line up</P><BR itxtvisited="1" /> <P itxtvisited="1">If (especially) we have a smart Hulk there isn't much need for Norton to reprise his role as Banner.</P><BR itxtvisited="1" /> <P itxtvisited="1">I'd love for them to add AntMan and the Wasp just so we can have the original team. And hopefully they won't over do it with too many characters the first time out.</P><BR itxtvisited="1" /> <P itxtvisited="1">Ultron, Loki, Mandarin or the Leader are my top choices for villain.</P>
fft5305 10/28/2008 2:44:33 PM

Well, I guess that makes it official. After Feige's disclaimer the other day, I was hoping that it was all speculation and that Howard would be back as Rhodey, but I guess not. Ah well.  As much as I liked Howard as Rhodes, it's not like they're taking a huge step backward and casting someone like Chris Tucker. Cheadle is an excellent actor and should do fine.  My sympathies to TH. You got the shaft, my man.

hanso 10/28/2008 2:50:41 PM

Niceness.  Hope they announce Norton soon.

almostunbiased 10/28/2008 3:04:20 PM

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEET, great news.  And so looking forward to Cheadle.

Just no Thor, PLEASE.

evilbeagle 10/28/2008 3:06:35 PM

This is all good news.

After hearing about Cheadle, I payed more attention to Howard's take on Rhodey.  I began wondering if they were just disappointed with his take on the character and wanted more.  I don't think Howard was bad, but he did play Rhodey maybe a bit too whiney, weak, and annoyed with Tony.  I really think Cheadle will strengthen this character and give more to the film.

I think it's great to get things locked in for the Avengers.  I too hope they get Norton added to the list.  I really liked him as Banner.  Why is nobody speculating that Hulk could play a major role in Iron Man 2?  The end of The Incredible Hulk hints to a perfect setup for the Iron Man sequel.  A major plot line in IM2 could be about Tony, working with SHIELD, trying to reign in the Hulk.  These movies are all building to the Avengers, why would Iron Man 2 not move further into that territory?

Either way this is all good news.  I want to hear more about Thor and Cap.  Casting news, plot leaks, anything...

evilbeagle 10/28/2008 3:08:18 PM
<P itxtvisited="1">Think about it...</P><BR itxtvisited="1" /> <P itxtvisited="1">IM2: Hulk vs. Iron Man</P>
evilbeagle 10/28/2008 3:11:57 PM

This could also begin to juice up more anticipation for a possible Hulk sequel...The fact is that the Hulk could use supporting characters to make his movies more of a draw...Once Marvel starts putting characters together, we may start to see their movies making $400-500 milllion.

DarthDuck 10/28/2008 3:50:27 PM

Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!

I would've loved to have seen Favreau direct, but at least he'll be involved (and I guess directing hasn't been ruled out)

I look forward to more news, including Hulk as far as the character, as well as Norton's involvement

and I want to hear about a villain.  but it's fun to speculate with all the great villains available and maybe they'll set more up as we go along, and build into a which one of our bad guys will we all fight?  or, will we all fight all of our bad guys

super excited, so much so that I wasn't able to type it out rationally, oh well.....

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!

guygardner1 10/28/2008 4:30:30 PM

If Marvel were super smart, they would add Spiderman and Wolverine to the Avengers line up.

Both characters have been Avengers in the past, and feature in the MArvel Avengers Alience game.

So the Avengers line up would be - Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine.

That would tie all their franchises together nicely. 

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