Marvel.com announced today that Robert Downey, Jr. has signed on to appear in Avengers 2 (May 1, 2015) and Avengers 3 (TBD), but nothing on Iron Man 4. I cannot even imagine the amount they forked over to get him to do this, but it looks like what's now become his signature role will be continuing until at least 2018, ten years after the first Iron Man movie. He must be getting tired of this, right? Remember when he did mostly arthouse films and passion projects? Much as I like Tony Stark, I'd sure love to see a return to that RDJ someday.
In other superhero news, fans are reeling from the sudden "letting go" of Shailene Woodley from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Having already filmed scenes as Mary-Jane and been the focus of some of the first set pics released, it was revealed just the other day that she's been cut from the film altogether. The latest is that Sony is reportedly now looking for a new actress to replace her for the third movie, citing Woodley's likely unavailability due to her upcoming sci-fi movie Divergent. Hmmm. Rumors are of course swirling about possible real reasons for the shake-up, and it certainly seems as if Sony is using the Divergent film as an excuse to get rid of her. Unhappiness with the performance, perhaps?
Finally, several highly anticipated release dates have been confirmed by Fox, including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for July 15, 2014 (can't wait!), X-Men: Days of Future Past for May 23, 2014, and most surprisingly, Independence Day 2 on July 3, 2015. Even as somebody who considers the original a cheesy guilty pleasure, was anyone really calling for a sequel to Independence Day almost twenty years after the fact? Anyway, with that plus Avengers 2 and Star Wars: Episode VII set for 2015, that is going to be one mega summer movie season, isn't it?