He may be the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Robert Downey Jr.‘s contract with the studio ended with Iron Man 3, and surprisingly enough, he is not signed on for The Avengers 2, at least not yet. Word is that Downey is renegotiating his contract to appear in the next two films, but as to the standalone Iron Man installments, that is still up in the air. Whether or not he will appear in any of the upcoming Avengers sequels remains to be seen, but The Avengers director Joss Whedon believes that Downey will return to reprise his role.
During one of the press rounds for his upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon spoke to Newsweek’s The Daily Beast about the matter and is confident that Downey will return.
Here’s what Whedon had to say:
“He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can. The day he was cast, I went up to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige and said, ‘You brilliant son of a bitch.’“
It would be a huge shock if Downey did not return for The Avengers 2 or The Avengers 3. Like I said, the guy is the face of the franchise, and for him not to be there for the Avengers trilogy would be a huge blow to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because let’s face it, we don’t want anyone else being Tony Stark in any of the upcoming sequels other than Robert Downey Jr.