More Iron Man, and Avengers, too

early buzz about Iron Man was right on, and the movie was a box office hit. So it’s only natural that Marvel would plan to ride the tide and make a sequel, right?

But how much of the movie’s success was script, production, etc., and how much as of it was their leading man?

Turns out, Marvel’s willing to bank on Robert Downey Jr.; they’ve just inked a deal with him that cements his role as Iron man for not just one but two more movies, as well as another role:

In addition to starring in “Iron Man 2,” Downey has agreed to return as billionaire Tony Stark and his crime-fighting alter ego in “The Avengers” and a third “Iron Man” installment, guaranteeing the thesp a superhero-sized payday and his own ongoing franchise as part of a four-picture deal with the comicbook company.

Jon Favreau, who is set to helm the second “Iron Man” pic, will also exec produce “The Avengers,” which is skedded for release on July 15, 2011. Pic will unite the Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Incredible Hulk characters.

Oh, man. Do you suppose they’ll manage to keep The Avengers rated PG? I sure hope so. I think the kids would enjoy that. And I’ve heard enough about what a horrible mother I am about not letting them see Iron Man.

(Of course, I just realized that in 2011 I’ll have a kid who’s actually old enough for a PG-13 movie. Wow. Between that and what Downey Jr.’s speculated to earn over this 4-picture deal with Marvel, I may need to go lie down.)

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