When Marvel Studios announced they were building all their individual franchises towards an Avengers film, we assumed they had a plan for getting all the actors on board for the crossover. But I’ve also suspected that Marvel has been playing a little fast and loose, going for the big picture before they nailed everything down. And in my mind the biggest question mark was Robert Downey Jr – would he really be playing Tony Stark in an Avengers movie?

He will be. According to a Marvel Studios press release: As part of his four picture deal with Marvel Studios, Robert Downey Jr. is appearing as Tony Stark in THE AVENGERS motion picture, as well as reprising his starring role as the larger-than-life leading character in IRON MAN 2. Jon Favreau will return to direct the sequel to the blockbuster IRON MAN, which to date has grossed over $578 million worldwide, as well as executive produce THE AVENGERS.

But wait! There’s more! The press release confirms that Don Cheadle will be taking over from Terrence Howard as Rhodey in Iron Man 2, but also that he’ll be appearing in The Avengers! I don’t know if this means that Rhodey has a cameo or if War Machine is in the group or what, but Cheadle will be there.

I assume that Cheadle’s deal, which locks him into The Avengers, is going to be the deal for everybody who signs on to a Marvel Studios film at this point.

And how cool is it that we can expect four turns from Robert Downey Jr as the Armored Avenger? There’s a lot of talk back and forth about how Marvel is conducting its business behind the scenes, but it looks like they have it all covered onscreen.