In sad but not surprising news, Jon Favreau will not return to direct Iron Man 3. His departure from the franchise makes sense in light of reported difficulties between Favreau and Marvel over his salary for Iron Man 2 and the creative control over that film. Vulture reports that Favreau’s fee for directing Iron Man 3 would have been too high for Marvel and that the studio began the search for a replacement last night. A source also tells Vulture that Marvel may have been attempting to dissuade Favreau by “pushing a confusing and packed vision of the third film.” Favreau recently said that the story for Iron Man 3 (which currently has no script) would follow the events of Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers.
Hit the jump for more. Iron Man 3 is currently set for May 3, 2013. Favreau’s new film, Cowboys & Aliens, is due out July 29, 2011.
UPDATE: Favreau has just tweeted:
It’s true, I’m directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I’ve had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best.
Let the speculation begin over who will direct Iron Man 3. Original story continues after the jump:
This sounds like bad news for Iron Man 3. While it wasn’t a disaster, Iron Man 2 was a disappointment. It spent too much time trying to set up The Avengers rather than existing as its own movie. If Marvel is looking for a cheaper director, it likely means they’re also looking for a director who won’t exert strong creative control and say things like “Stop using my movie as marketing for your future movies.” It’s also disappointing to see Favreau out of the picture because I would have liked to see him direct an Iron Man movie where the villain is the Mandarin and not just other Iron Men suits.
With Iron Man 3 out of the picture, it’s likely his next project will be Magic Kingdom, which is about a family trapped in Disneyland and their magical encounters with all sorts of Disney attractions and rides. Whoever Marvel chooses at the director for Iron Man 3, it’s important to note that Robert Downey Jr. has contractually negotiated director approval.