By Zack Zeigler

Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as billionaire super hero Tony Stark (Iron Man) for the third time in “Marvel’s The Avengers”–but while playing Stark might be familiar to RDJ, fans shouldn’t expect more of the same when the film opens on May 4.

Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) on the set of “Marvel’s The Avengers”

“[‘Marvel’s The Avengers’] is just a really good story that could’ve been done a hundred ways wrong–and don’t act surprised at how unpredictable it is,” he says.

Downey, Jr. credits writer and director Joss Whedon’s strong knowledge of character and ability to churn out pages of witty dialogue under pressure for the film coming together so well.

“[Joss] is really quick and incredibly responsible to his job requirements, to the letter,” Downey, Jr. said. “There’s a scene at the end that kind of unites Thor and Cap and Tony, and it needed to say a lot…but it couldn’t be two pages, so [Joss] said, ‘Give me a second.’ It ended up being four lines that included all of us and he gave us three pages of options. The guy is kind of a machine, but [what he writes] feels organic.”

Chris Evans, who plays Steve Rogers/Captain America in the film, felt that without a convincing performance from Stark, the movie would have lacked an important element.

“I think without Tony, [The Avengers] don’t work,” Evans said. “He really is the glue in the family…I think, at least, for this movie.”

Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. star as Captain America and Tony Stark/Iron Man in “Marvel’s The Avengers”

On screen, however, the relationship between Iron Man and Captain America probably won’t be as smooth. Downey Jr. was hush on most of the details, but hinted that the tension could have something to do with Cap having known Tony’s father, Howard Stark. Personal issues aside, Downey, Jr. related that Iron Man will still have to respect what Captain America brings to the table.

“Obviously, there’s only one person whose name is Captain,” Downey, Jr. said. “And if you have a squad of people, there’s a time when his prowess in things that have to do with actual strategy and military stuff [becomes] really valuable.”

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

In addition to “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Iron Man 3” on May 3, 2013; and “Thor 2” on November 15, 2013.

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