Earlier this week, director Jon Favreau told MTV that he had no clarity on what another sequel in the immensely successful Iron Man franchise would look like. “In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers,” said Favreau at the time, “This whole world … I have no idea what it is. I don’t think they do either, from conversations I’ve had with those guys.” Flash forward to today, when Vulture has confirmed with sources close to the situation that Favreau has informed Marvel that he will not direct Iron Man 3.
Whether the break is monetary (Favs is getting expensive these days), creatively (sounds like Marvel has no idea where they are going with the damned thing) or both remains to be seen. According to Vulture, “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.”
No matter the reasoning behind the move, we can be certain that it won’t be the same without Favreau, who has guided the franchise to over a billion dollars in worldwide gross and the overwhelming approval of die hard fans. If they are to succeed beyond The Avengers, Marvel will need to bring in someone who can, at the very least, carry on that vision. They will also need to bring on someone who jives with Robert Downey Jr., as the star is said to have a contractually mandated power of director approval. It puts a lot of pressure on Marvel to get it right, even if this movie won’t begin filming until 2012 at the very earliest.