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There is a saucy rumor making the rounds that Marvel has already set plans in motion for a new ‘Avengers’ project. “Thor 3” and “Captain America 3” is already in the works to keep fans busy in the meantime, but what is the next step for the Avengers? The big concern is the expected Robert Downey Jr. departure due to his contract ending with Marvel. We reported a while ago that Downey Jr. is expected to reprise his role as Iron Man in the Avengers 2 & 3 flicks, and according to his contract we should not be expecting “Iron Man 4” with him attached as Tony Stark <sigh>.

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What will happen with the Avengers in phase 4?

The friendly folks over at Unleash the Fanboy suggest that Marvel’s Phase 4 will lead with a ‘New Avengers‘ movie according to a reliable source close to Disney. This is what they had to say:

“It’s so incredibly early in the process, but unless Robert [Downey Jr.] makes an insane deal with these guys, they’re going with New Avengers.”

When asked if the New Avengers will follow the comic arc or will there be new actors filling the spots for our favorite group of heroes, they said:

“Well, you’ve heard the recent casting announcements. They’ve got a ton of great guys. Paul Rudd. Michael Douglas. Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Whoever they choose for Doctor Strange and the other new guys in Phase 3. They’ve got a lot of great guys to lead the new phase of the team. But that’s all I say. It’s really early.”

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is set to be released on May 1, 2015. The entire cast form the first installment will reprise their respective roles.