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Downey Jr. signs on for 2 more 'Avengers' films

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NEW YORK (AP) - Robert Downey Jr. has signed up for two more "Avengers" films.

Marvel announced Thursday that the actor will reprise his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark for "The Avengers 2" and "The Avengers 3." Downey Jr. has played the character in a trilogy of "Iron Man" movies, as well as the first superhero ensemble "Avengers" film, which made $2.7 billion worldwide.

Joss Whedon is to return as director of the next "Avengers" film. He is writing the screenplay now. Production is to begin in March, with a theatrical release in May 2015.

The 48-year-old actor had previously suggested "Iron Man 3" might be his last spin in a stand-alone "Iron Man" film. Marvel's announcement made no mention of an "Iron Man 4" release.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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