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Fans of Marvel Comics and their film arm, Marvel Studios, are eagerly anticipating what’s next in the movie universe. The latest news is that Robert Downey Jr. is close to joining the cast of Captain America  3, and his appearance looks to signal a new direction for the movies to come.

Variety reported on Downey joining the cast and reprising his role as Tony Stark, although the actor is still possibly negotiating terms for the Iron Man 4 sequel. While Iron Man and Captain America are known allies as part of the Avengers super-squad, there will be tension between the heroes in this installment if reports are accurate.

From Variety:

The new pact is significant for the Marvel cinematic universe considering the plot will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.

Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in “Captain America 3,” providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth “Avengers.”

This new development seems to go in hand with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its alignment with the comics. Marvel announced that the plot that will make up the story told in Captain America 3 will follow the “Civil War” story line. Downey’s signing is all but a done deal, despite word that Marvel brass didn’t take kindly to the popular star’s money demands. However, everything looks like a go at this point.

Downey will return to the screen for Marvel in next summer’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The untitled Captain America sequel is slated for a 2016 release.

Photo: Twitter/Marvel