From the perspective of someone who works in an industry where most of the professionals couldn't tell you where their next job is coming from, most people in Hollywood are probably sitting around the dinner table tonight discussing how Robert Downey Jr. is like, totally set for life. The Iron Man actor has signed on to play Tony Stark in three more films. With Iron Man being, well, let's face it, the second-biggest movie of the summer, Marvel Studios nevertheless has about five hundred and seventy eight million ($!) reasons to get him back for a sequel. And while reports aren't out yet as to just how much of that juicy box-office gross they used to lure RDJ back, they got him, and not just for one sequel, but two. Oh, and also what could technically be called a spinoff.
That's right, folks. All of you holding your breath for news on The Avengers can let out a little squeak of air. Downey Jr. has signed on to star in the spinoff franchise, which is scheduled for release on July 15, 2011 and will of course, unite Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk (and Wasp and Hawkeye, for those keeping score). Iron Man director Jon Favreau, about whom there was bandied speculation that he may not be involved in any future Iron projects, will not only direct Iron Man 2, but will also executive produce The Avengers. Incidentally, Don Cheadle who will replace Terrance Howard as Jim Rhodes in IM2, will also get his Avengers on. Sadly, that's all of the solid casting news as we've yet gotten. Well, other than knowing that Daniel Craig will NOT play Thor. So even if the studio doesn't land some of the actors it wants, or even some of the actors it's rumored to want, the three films are already a go, so at least a few Hollywood professionals out there are sure to get some work.