Vulture is reporting that Jon Favreau just told Marvel that he will not be returning for Iron Man 3. This shouldn’t be news to you - just last week I laid out the case that pointed to Favreau leaving the franchise behind (you can click here to read that).
According to Vulture’s sources Marvel has already begun looking for a new director, but as they point out Robert Downey Jr has final approval; that said, Downey and wife Susan are producers on the film and the actor really wants to make this one count. He knows that Tony Stark brought him back from career death, and the role will be one of his legacies.
The report doesn’t have a hard reason why Favreau has left; Vulture speculates that he costs too much. I stand by my theory that Favreau is done with Marvel, having tough experiences with them on Iron Man 2 and finding himself in a place where he’s got plenty of work on his plate. I’m sure Marvel hasn’t fought too hard to keep him around - remember the weird negotiations the two parties conducted in the geek press before Iron Man 2? - but I don’t buy Vulture’s theory that Marvel made Iron Man 3 seem confusing or shitty just to lose Favs.
Assuming this is true (and this could be a rehash of the negotiation process from Iron Man 2, to be fair), who do you want directing Iron Man 3? Would the series be best served by a strong visionary or someone who bends to Downey’s will? I think Downey needs a strong hand to keep him in line when it comes to tinkering with the script and story, and I worry that whoever they get will just bow before him and we’ll end up with a third movie that makes the second look tight and coherent.
UPDATE: This seems to have been confirmed.