Answering a lingering question about their future movie plans and marking a major coup, Marvel Studios officially announced Tuesday that both Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau will be directly involved The Avengers movie in 2011, a year after they both reprise their respective roles in the 2010's Iron Man 2.
Marvel Studios clarified Downey Jr.'s deal with the studio is a four picture deal, paving the way for him to play Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Iron Man sequel, plus a future third installment, as well as the ensemble Avengers movie.
Favreau is of course directing Iron Man 2 and will executive produce The Avengers.
The studio also officially confirmed the news from last week that actor Don Cheadle has taken over the role of James 'Rhodey' Rhodes in Iron Man 2, adding that he is also signed to play in the role in the The Avengers movie and future sequels.
"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, in the announcement.
In what the studio is calling a "movie event", The Avengers will bring together the superhero 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."
The highly-anticipated sequel to Iron Man will be released in theatres on May 7, 2010 and The Avengers will be released July 15, 2011. Both films will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.