Iron Man Will Not Return Until ‘The Avengers,’ Says Jon Favreau

While the last scene in “Iron Man 2” sets the stage for the next movie from Marvel Studios, it appears that Robert Doweny Jr. will not reprise his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) until “The Avengers” is released in 2012.

“[Downey’s] not in ’Thor’, he’s not in Cap which are the two movies for next Summer,” said “Iron Man 2″ director Jon Favreau during an appearance on “The Kevin and Bean Show” from the Los Angeles based radio station KROQ (via Comic Book Movie). “It’ll be very interesting to see how the Marvel Universe branches off. All of these movies are going to be taken into account for ’The Avengers’ in two years.”

“I’m not sure where ’The Avengers goes,’ continued Favreau. “There is no shooting draft written yet. It’s gonna be a big undertaking for Marvel to actually incorporate what happened in ’Iron Man,’ ’Iron Man 2,’ ’Thor,’ ’Captain America’ [and] ’The Hulk.’ All that has to inform one unified vision in ’The Avengers.’ It’s a very exciting prospect. And certainly, Tony Stark is not going to be involved in any of the movies until that one.”

Earlier this week, word broke that Joss Whedon has “tentatively agreed” to direct “The Avengers,” potentially confirming the rumors that began circulating in April.

Favreau has previously said that Whedon would be a “great choice” to direct “The Avengers.”

Favreau also shared his thoughts on whether “Iron Man 3″ would be shot in 3-D.

“I have been testing the [3-D] gear out because we are discussing whether or not we want to do it on the next [’Iron Man’] film,” related Favreau. “I know Marvel is looking into it on their movie. but for me personally for ’Cowboys and Aliens’ we are looking at what the gear can hold up to because we are shooting out in the desert, which has never been done before with this type of gear. But I love watching movies that are done well in 3-D; I think it is very captivating.”

“The Avengers” is set to be released in the summer of 2012.

Are you disappointed to hear that Tony Stark won’t appear in “Thor” or “Captain America”? Should “Iron Man 3″ be filmed in 3-D? Fire up your arc reactors and let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!