Jon Favreau is heading back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No, not as a director, but as an actor. Indeed, Favreau cast himself as Happy Hogan in the first MCU movie ever, Iron Man, which he directed. Of course at the time the entire idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe was but a far-off notion, with the post-credits scene featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury added during post-production. Now every other superhero franchise is trying to emulate what Marvel started, and stemming back to that casting decision made back in 2007, Favreau is coming back to the Marvel fold.
So where is Happy popping up next? Avengers: Infinity War? Not so fast. Per Variety, Favreau will actually be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is a collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures that sees Sony financing and distributing the film and Marvel taking the creative lead. Favreau’s casting in the film makes sense given that we already know that Robert Downey Jr. has a co-starring role as Tony Stark/Iron Man, so perhaps Happy will get to cross paths with the webslinger himself.
Indeed, this new Peter Parker’s introduction to the MCU took place in Captain America: Civil War, with Tom Holland making his debut when Tony comes to Queens looking for help in his battle against Captain America. Given that Tony is the one who recruits Spider-Man and gives him his fancy new suit, the two have something of a rapport that I’m mighty eager to see play out in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Homecoming is currently in production in Atlanta with Cop Car helmer Jon Watts directing, and while we don’t know too much about the movie, Marvel has stressed that this is very much a high school story with something of a John Hughes vibe. Michael Keaton is playing the film’s villain, Vulture, and Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, Zendaya, Hannibal Buress, Bokeem Woodbine, Martin Starr, and Donald Glover fill out the ensemble.
As a result of his Marvel contract, Favreau has an executive producer credit on all Avengers movies in the foreseeable future, including the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel. While those two movies begin concurrent production later this year, it’s unclear if Happy will be a part of that massive ensemble or not. Thus far his appearances have been relegated just to Iron Man movies, including the Favreau-helmed Iron Man 2 and the Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3, so Happy’s appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming is something of a first for the MCU. As a filmmaker, Favreau most recently directed the Disney smash hit The Jungle Book and is onboard to helm a sequel.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017.