So why did Jon Favreau leave the "Iron Man" franchise, confirming earlier today that he won't be directing "Iron Man 3" which was already set for a May, 2013 release? Let's recap, Marvel had already nearly lost him on "Iron Man 2" when they offered him an insultingly low fee for the sequel, they also low-balled Mickey Rourke and were so sick of Terrence Howard's demands that they axed him and replaced him with Don Cheadle.
So it was the evil, cheap Marvel that made Favreau bail on the film, right? Well, if you're looking for drama, you came to the wrong place unfortunately.
“Marvel and I both came of age together,” Favreau diplomatically explained to the L.A. Times today. “The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in…. ‘Iron Man’ has given me tremendous opportunities and Kevin (Feige) and I are enjoying a lot of momentum in our careers thanks to the ‘Iron Man’ films. I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world.”
Favreau's next project will be the family fantasy adventure “Magic Kingdom," a genre he's not entirely unfamiliar with having already directed family friendly films like "Elf" and "Zathura: A Space Adventure" -- the hi-concept special effects film that essentially led Marvel to take the leap of faith with him that paid off in spades in the original "Iron Man." His next project “Cowboys & Aliens” is essentially in the can and coming out in the crowded summer tentpole season of 2011.
So why the Disney-led "Magic Kingdom" project instead of "Iron Man 3"? “Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to,” he said. “Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child. When I first heard about the ['Magic Kingdom' film] project, I was on my way to visit Disneyland with my family. I took notes and had no problem filling a book with all the ideas that this concept offered, even on first blush. Since then, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Imagineering by Tony Baxter, who knows just about everything there is to know about Disneyland. He pulled original concept art from the archives for me and exposed me to Walt’s original vision.”
The guy likes Disney, got that? Cue geek moaning and groaning? Who knows, but either way, Favreau is long gone from the Marvel Universe. Here's five of our picks for directors who could possibly fill his shoes.