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“Avengers” Director: Robert Downey Jr. Is Iron Man

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- While Iron Man fans have been wondering whether or not Robert Downey Jr. would return for another go-round as the hero, Avengers director Joss Whedon explains regardless of what salary negotiations are going on behind the scenes, fans can rest easy.

"He is Iron Man," Whedon says.

The director tells the Daily Beast, "He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond.  I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that.  I don't think it's in my interest, Marvel's interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine."

Whedon does say regarding the salary situation, "You have to be ready for the unexpected.  But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can."

Aside from producing ABC's upcoming TV series Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Whedon has been promoting a much different big-screen project.

A modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which he shot with his friends in and around his home in just 12 days while on a break from The Avengers, debuts in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.  The film stars Castle's Nathan Fillion, with whom Whedon worked on the sci-fi show Firefly, Marvel movie series star Clark Gregg, and Whedon's former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Amy Acker.

The Avengers 2 hits theaters in May of 2015.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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