LOS ANGELES — Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal to reprise his role as billionaire genius/playboy/inventor Tony Stark in two “Avengers” films.

Marvel.com posted news Thursday that the actor has signed a two-picture agreement to climb back into the Iron Man armor for “The Avengers 2″ and “€œThe Avengers 3.”€Â

The first “Avengers” sequel will be written and directed by Joss Whedon and is set to begin production in England’€™s venerable Pinewood-Shepperton facility in March.

The film is set for release May 1, 2015.

“€œWe fit each other pretty snug, and I feel like when I’€™m him I know what to do,”€ Downey told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year of his relationship to Tony Stark. “€œAt the same time, I don’€™t know why I know what to do. I just know that I do. There’€™s still just a sense of wonder to me that there’€™s something so watchable about this character’€™s ongoing, trippy saga.”€Â

Audiences seem to agree. “Iron Man 3″€ collected nearly $200 million when it opened in some 42 countries around the globe at the beginning of May, and earlier this week, the film crossed the $400-million mark at the domestic box office.

Worldwide, it’€™s earned more than $1.2 billion.