Is Iron Man 3 Really Coming Out Before The Avengers?

Did a slip of the tongue reveal Paramount's plans for a third Iron Man movie, even a month before Iron Man 2 is coming out?

Which movie will come first: Iron Man 3 or The Avengers? With a tentative Avengers release date set for May 4th in 2012, the idea of squeezing in another Iron Man movie isn't a completely ridiculous notion. Look how fast Iron Man 2 managed to squeak out after the first movie in 2008.

In an interview with the AP, Robert Downey Jr. might have revealed that he's already getting busy on the third Iron Man film. When the AP asked Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis what their future plans were, they responded thusly:

Galifianakis said he expects to begin work this fall on the sequel to The Hangover, while Downey said he aims to suit up for a third Iron Man flick.

The way that's worded makes Iron Man 3 sound like Downey Jr.'s next project, and some sites, like CinemaBlend, are even interpreting it to mean he could be repeating the role of Tony Stark this coming fall. That would allow Marvel to finish the Iron Man trilogy before The Avengers comes out, which makes a certain amount of sense — but that would mean putting out these two films awfully close together. Let's hope the Captain America and Thor films provide enough buffer to prevent Iron Man overload... if that's even possible.