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If you've been following the news today (which has been rather slow, all told), you know that the big story to come out was that director Jon Favreau will not be returning to the Iron Man franchise for a third go-around. Earlier, Katey and I debated what this means for both the Marvel universe and the future of shellhead, but now the director himself has come out to explain the reason behind the move.
Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, Favreau didn't lay blame on the studio for pressuring him into putting more Avenger related material in Iron Man 2 or reveal that it was a money issue, instead saying that it was merely about him finding a project that "lights a fire" in him, instead looking for something with less built in expectations. Favreau also said that things between him and Marvel Chief Kevin Feige are still fine, with Feige serving as a "sounding board" for Favreau's upcoming Magic Kingdom and the director still planning to be a producer on The Avengers. Speaking about Feige, Favreau said the following:
“Marvel and I both came of age together. 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 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.”
In conjunction with Favreau's quotes, Comic Book Movie says that the conflict may not have been with Feige, but instead with star Robert Downey Jr. As we reported back in August, the actor was unhappy with the final result of Iron Man 2 and, according to CBM's unnamed source, it apparently caused a rift between himself and Favreau. The source also says that the conflict was the reason that RDJ dropped out of Cowboys & Aliens.
The truth is that we'll probably never get the whole story behind this affair. There are simply too many moving pieces and politics to ever get the full picture, but it may end up being for the best in the long run. We know that Favreau isn't directing Iron Man 3, we know that the superhero sequel will be out on May 3, 2012. Until something else happens or we find out who will be taking the reins next, let's just leave it at that.