Marvel nears deals with Favreau, Downey Jr.

Marvel has handed the armor over to Justin Theroux, who will pen the sequel to “Iron Man.”

The comicbook giant’s film division is close to a deal to bring back helmer Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. for the pic it hopes to release in April 2010.

Theroux, a thesp-scribe best known for roles in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and miniseries “John Adams,” most recently wrote the DreamWorks comedy “Tropic Thunder,” which Paramount will unspool next month.

In addition to writing and appearing in “Tropic Thunder,” Theroux also exec produced the laffer, which stars Ben Stiller, Downey and Jack Black. He recently made his directing debut on “Dedication,” which the Weinstein Co. distribbed.

“Iron Man,” released in May, has earned more than $314 million at the domestic box office and collected another $252 million overseas.

It was Marvel Studios’ first self-financed pic, distribbed by Par, so it’s no surprise that the studio is looking to get another installment into theaters as quickly as possible.

Marvel Studios, however, isn’t being quick to confirm any deals around the project, saying it doesn’t comment on rumors.

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