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Gosh, Marvel Studios, just take a minute to chew your food, would you? Less than 24 hours after its debut picture Iron Man finished a $100 million opening weekend, studio boss David Maisel was all over town announcing Marvel's forthcoming slate — through 2011. As we noted yesterday, an Iron Man sequel is naturally to follow on April 30, 2010, while an adaptation of Thor will drop that same summer on June 10. It gets fairly outrageous from there: The First Avenger: Captain America appears May 11, 2011, followed by The Avengers — combining Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Thor a mere two months later. (The studio says its sitting out 2009 as a result of a development lag left over from the writers strike.)

And there's more: "Ant-Man also is in development," notes Variety, "with Edgar Wright attached to write and direct, but that project has yet to be dated." And some fucking crackhead fanboy just started a rumor that Matthew McConaughey leads the candidates to portray Captain America. And then, after the jump, there's the Iron Man Oscar hype. Jesus Christ — stop the Marvel gossip mill already, we want off.

We somehow (perhaps willfully?) overlooked Ken Tucker's blog post yesterday at Entertainment Weekly, where the critic is assembling his own rusty scrap bandwagon on behalf of Robert Downey Jr.'s chances come awards season:

Hey, remember the whining about the last Oscar telecast, with its low-wattage star vehicles and lower ratings, and all the hand-wringing the media, including EW, did over how to improve the Oscars? Here's a thought. Hey, Hollywood and the Motion Picture Academy: Take a closer squint at the big summer movies. Take them, ahem, seriously. As far as I'm concerned, Downey's performance should go on any short list that anyone draws up of potential Oscar nominees.

We don't object to his consideration; we do object, however, to the conjuring of Oscar "short lists" in the first week of May. Unacceptable, Tucker! You can't suck if you shut your mouth; give it a try.

Finally, and on a little more upbeat note, another tip of our cap to the Golden Schlub: Jon Favreau, who's also in EW today noting that he wants to do the sequel, confirming Robert Downey Jr. is under contract for it and contextualizing the star's massive comeback:

[W]hen you go into the Cinerama Dome ... I went up there and intro'd the movie, and as a surprise brought Robert Downey Jr. up, and then everybody jumped to their feet. It just hit him. ... It's exciting for everybody, because he's a guy that I think a lot of people wrote off. It's inspiring when somebody who sort of has his work cut out for him actually accomplishes that and comes back bigger and better than he was before. I mean, that's the American dream — and it oddly somehow relates to Tony Stark. And when art imitates life, you're onto something. I learned that off Swingers.

Congrats again to all involved, and we'll see you in June after The Incredible Hulk's disappointing $55 million opening has Marvel execs bitterly curtailing Ant-Man until at least 2015.