Fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Downey has committed to two new "Avengers" movies, but the deal only started to gel in recent weeks.
SEE ALSO: Robert Downey Jr. Signs on for "Avengers" Sequels
"Iron Man 3" after backend is paid.
But tellingly, the announcement does not include news that he will star in an eventual "Iron Man 4." Marvel recently dated two unnamed Marvel movies and there was speculation that one could be "Iron Man 4."
Sources say the talks between Marvel and Downey were always focused on "The Avengers" and not individual character pics. Downey has made it clear he wants to do other projects that aren't Marvel-related, which is why it works for him to commit to two pics.
With Downey now locked in, speculation turns to what the other cast members will do. Downey was the only one not locked in for the next film but several sources close to several "Avengers" actors said that while they are committed to deals, renegotiations may still occur.
"We have a deal but the current one we have just isn't going to cut it, so we'll see," said a rep for one "Avengers" thesp. The actors could well be smarting after Marvel paid Downey Jr. $50 million and Scarlett Johansson made nearly $20 million while others were paid far less.
Those talks may have to wait as Marvel is now deep in the search for the actress who will play Scarlet Witch, a new member of the "Avengers" universe. Whedon will begin meeting with actresses next week, and the casting could be the next piece of news to come out of the Marvel universe.