Update: Favreau has made it official and confirmed to the LATimes, as well as through Twitter, that he will NOT be directing “Iron Man 3″. He will, instead, put his focus on Disney’s “The Magic Kingdom”, based on the theme park ride.
–Original Post Below–
An “Iron Man” movie without Jon Favreau behind the camera? Man, that would be very, very weird. But I suppose as long as Robert Downey Jr. is willing to suit up as ol Shellhead, Marvel Studios could probably pull it off. In any case, the current going rumor hails from Vulture, who quotes “insiders” as telling them that Favreau, who directed the first two “Iron Man” movies, has voluntarily bailed from the third installment. Sort of.
It’s unclear whether the impasse was financial or creative or both. One informed source hears that he was frustrated with Marvel’s urge to stuff more of their in-house heroes into the next film in the wake of The Avengers.
Favreau has already stated his confusion over what it is exactly Marvel wants to do with their characters, especially with Iron Man via “The Avengers”.
Vulture goes on to speculate if Favreau walked, or if he was cleverly “nudged” out the door:
Still other industry insiders look at Favreau’s growing price tag and speculate that he was getting too expensive for the frugal Marvel and its equally cost-conscious parent company, Disney. In fact, one Hollywood player familiar with Marvel’s playbook theorizes that the company had been pushing a confusing and packed vision of the third film as a tactic to provoke Favreau into leaving the project.
Favreau made $10 million for the sequel (after a lengthy and very public spat with the studio, as you’ll recall), and would probably make more than that for the third movie, along with profit participation. Star Robert Downey Jr. is already making a ton from the franchise, and Marvel and their parent company Disney may be looking to slash some of the fat. This is, after all, the studio that famously dumped Terrence Howard from the first sequel because they didn’t want to pay him too much, and has low-balled every other actor that they’ve brought into their fold. So yeah, I don’t think it’s below Marvel to pull this shit whatsoever.
If it turns out to be true, that is…