Robert Downey Jr. is keeping his signature armored suit on for at least a couple more adventures.
Marvel Studios announced Thursday that Downey has signed a deal to return as billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark and his superheroic alter ego Iron Man for two more movies: the team-up film The Avengers 2, writer/director Joss Whedon's sequel to last year's $1.5 billion hit, as well as The Avengers 3. They will be his fifth and sixth times playing Iron Man on the big screen, respectively.
The actor's previous contract ended with Iron Man 3, but he was too much of a commodity to not have in the fold: The latest solo adventure opened in May and just crossed the $1.2 billion mark worldwide this week.
Details were not disclosed about the deal, but in April Downey confirmed to GQ that he was paid $50 million for the first Avengers movie. He will be 50 years old when Avengers 2 comes out.
Marvel executive producer Kevin Feige said earlier this year that the torch or Iron Man armor, as it were will have to be passed someday.
"I cannot produce them for another 40 years, and I don't think Robert can star in them for that long," he said. "But I certainly hope he'll be playing the character for many years to come."
There was some hubbub in Hollywood about if Downey would sign on for more movies or if Marvel would want to go in a different direction.
Downey, however, remarked around the time of the Iron Man 3 release that he didn't want to be drawn into that discussion.
"I've been living with a nice, practical Jewish girl from Chicago for a long time," he said of his wife. "And she says that there's no reason to talk about something I don't know the answer to. And I can only regret acting like I knew an answer to something I don't."
The Avengers 2 is tentatively scheduled to begin production in March, and will open in theaters May 1, 2015.
Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
Contributing: Bryan Alexander