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Tony Stark will return. If you've sat through the credits of Iron Man 3 you saw those four words. This is now as certain as ever as it has been announced this week by Marvel that Robert Downey Jr. will indeed return as the billionaire/playboy/philanthropist turned armored avenger for at least two more Avengers films. At this point, there isn't any word on whether this will eventually include a fourth solo film or if Downey is even interested in a fourth.
Fans of Stark will be overjoyed with this news, especially those who believe that last year's Avengers would not have been quite what it was without Downey. Imagine that for one moment. A motion picture with a Tony Stark not played by Downey. You might remember an interview Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege gave to the Huffington Post back in April in which he presented the possibility of a Marvel Universe without Robert Downey Jr.
"I don't think Robert will be playing this character for another 30 years, and I certainly hope the character stays in movies for the next 30 years - just like James Bond… It will take a while to fill any shoes, whether it's filmmaker shoes or writer shoes or certainly actor shoes," said Fiege.
It sounds like Marvel has big plans for the Tony Stark character, but perhaps it's too soon the consider someone else inhabiting the role that has become synonymous with Downey. For now, the team will be fully assembled as we look ahead. The Avengers 2 is due to hit theaters summer 2015.