Downey Jr., who appeared in three "Iron Man" blockbusters as well as the superhero ensemble picture "The Avengers," hasn't signed up to reprise his role again in "The Avengers 2," EW.com said Thursday.
Whedon, however, says he is optimistic a deal will be worked out for Downey.
"He is Iron Man," Whedon told The Daily Beast. "He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making 'Avengers 2' without him, nor do I think I'll be called upon to do that. I don't think it's in my interest, Marvel's interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can."