ROBERT DOWNEY JR. signs for ‘AVENGERS 2’ and ‘AVENGERS 3.’ Money Truck goes BEEP BEEP.

Robert Downey Jr.

The inevitable has happened. Marvel has signed Robert Downey Jr. for the second and third Avenging flicks. No brainer, right? Still though – no mention of Iron Man 4. My guess? I’m still pushing for his death-sacrifice/resurrection in the aforementioned movies. What do you peoples make of all this?

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So remember all that talk about Robert Downey Jr. walking away from Iron Man, conveniently timed around the release of “Iron Man 3”? Well, it looks like cooler heads and/or lots of cash has prevailed as Tony Stark isn’t going anywhere…as far as The Avengers are concerned anyway….

Marvel has officially announced that Robert Downey Jr. will be back for “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3,” which means the superhero tag team you know and love won’t lose their most popular character anytime soon. So that’s good news as the studio gears up to shoot the sequel next spring for a 2015 release, and while the inevitable part three doesn’t have a release date yet, Disney did recently announce two untitled Marvel dates for May 6, 2016 and May 5, 2017 — and we presume ‘Avengers 3’ will probably take the latter slot. That’s our educated guess anyway.

But the most curious thing about this announcement is that there is no mention of “Iron Man 4.” So perhaps RDJ was telling the truth about walking away from Iron Man…in that he’s done with doing the standalone movies. It’s curious, especially considering “Iron Man 3” is the first billion dollar earner of the year, easily Marvel’s most popular character, and a massive success, but Kevin Feige has already gone on record saying he could see others put on the suit. Still, that’s a big move for a franchise that is peaking, and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. And it’ll also be interesting to see what kind of coin RDJ is getting for the ‘Avengers’ flick — we can only imagine his price tag for doing “Iron Man 4” if/when that could happen, would be enormous. And after paying the actor $50 million in back end coin for “The Avengers,” maybe Marvel doesn’t want to part with that kind of money.

Regardless, Tony Stark is back.