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Following the parting of ways between Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios over the upcoming comic book movie Ant-Man, it was Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn of all people who stepped out into the spotlight and really said all the right things to try and calm irate fans down. In an open letter posted on his Facebook page, the filmmaker compared the situation to being very good friends with both sides of a couple going through a breakup - you can't choose sides; you can only try and understand where both sides are coming from. It was a smart, reasoned response, and one recently echoed by Iron Man and Iron Man 2 helmer Jon Favreau while commenting on the situation.
Continuing to do press for his brand new indie film Chef, Favreau was asked by Shortlist.com for his take on the whole Edgar Wright/Marvel Studios split. With a deep understanding of the way things work at Marvel Studios and a close relationship with Wright, the director responded,
"Edgar’s a dear friend of mine – I was so looking forward to his version of Ant-Man. All Edgar’s films have been studio films, it’s not like he’s never made one before. I think he’s been used to a situation where he can have tremendous creative say around his story and casting, and Marvel has built an entire franchise around their style of telling stories. I know both parties well, and I respect his decision to see that he wasn’t going to be fulfilled in the process. That’s all I can really say."
Of course, Favreau's own history with Marvel isn't exactly spotless either. As we've written about before, the director had numerous creative differences with the studio while making Iron Man 2, both feeling rushed into production and not wanting to devote so much of the movie towards fleshing out the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ultimately, however, there was peace, as Favreau served as an Executive Producer on The Avengers and reprised his role as bodyguard Happy Hogan in Shane Black's Iron Man 3.
Favreau's comments about Ant-Man weren't the only interesting tidbits that were shared about Marvel in the Shortlist interview either. Asked by the reporter to reflect on where the first Iron Man started, the director made some interesting comments about how a hero like Tony Stark filled a very important pop culture gap that Favreau believes went missing after the Pierce Brosnan James Bond era. Said the filmmaker,
"I think by casting Iron Man the way we did, it classed the brand up. It allowed us to bring a certain humorous tone that had been lost from, say, the Bond franchise. With Daniel Craig, those movies gained a harder edge, meaning there was definitely room for a new humorous cad adventurer. That archetype had not been filled in a long time. Through Iron Man, Marvel found its tone and voice, but nothing was expected of it. And then the success came, and then there was pressure to continue that brand, and that’s where it becomes more challenging."
It's hard to say what Favreau's future with Marvel is given that we don't expect an Iron Man 4 to be announced any time soon, but we will never forget the important role he played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's foundation.