Favreau, Downey Locked For Avengers

“Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau will re-team for Marvel Studios superhero team-up movie “The Avengers”.

In an official press release its been confirmed that Downey has just signed a four-picture deal with Marvel Studios that retroactively includes the first “Iron Man”, two sequels to that, and “The Avengers” movie.

Favreau as previously reported, will direct “Iron Man 2” but only serve as executive producer on “The Avengers” which will also star Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes, the role that Terrence Howard played in the first “Iron Man” and which Cheadle will play in the second.

Downey and Cheadle are the first stars to sign on for “Avengers,” which features heroes like Iron Man, Captain American, Hulk, Wasp, Giant Man, Hawkeye and Thor. It is unclear whether Edward Norton would return to the role of Bruce Banner which he played in this year’s “The Incredible Hulk”.

AICN also had a long chat with Jon Favreau recently about the status of the “Iron Man” sequel where he confirmed he likely won’t shoot any scenes in IMAX format (ala “The Dark Knight”) because the hero is mostly CG and thus in the higher resolution would be too difficult and time-consuming to render.

Scribe Justin Theroux is almost done with the first draft of the “IRon Man 2” script and pre-production is in full swing with boarding, animatics, location scouting and set design all underway. He’s also working with “Samurai Jack” creator Genndy Tartakovsky on the designs for the film.

Favreau adds that story wise there’ll be definite Iron Man-Captain America links: “There’s some relationship between Tony’s father and what was going on in World War II, in the Marvel Universe, and Shield, so we’re trying to lay some pipe here so that when it all happens it feels somewhat inevitable.”

“Iron Man 2” hits theatres on May 7th 2010, while “The Avengers” hits July 15th 2011.