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.