Update: Favreau has gone on to explain his decision for leaving the Iron Man franchise in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. He clarifies that his reason for leaving was not due to money or a lack of cohesiveness in the series and that he parted with Marvel on good terms. Favreau’s real reason for leaving was so that he could pursue other projects that he has a passion for. He’s quoted as saying he wants something that will “blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn’t loaded with built-in expectations.” He has wished Marvel the best and looks forward to seeing “what others can do playing in the same world.”
Apparently Jon Favreau has had enough with the Marvel universe, officially telling the company that he will not return for another Iron Man sequel. Right now it’s unclear why Favreau decided to leave the popular franchise, although insiders have already begun proposing some theories. One source has said he was frustrated over Marvel’s urging to cram even more in-house characters into the next film, especially after The Avengers hits theaters. A quote from a recent interview contributes to that sentiment: “This whole world … I have no idea what it is. I don’t think they do either, from conversations I’ve had with those guys.” Still, others are saying that Favreau’s price tag was too high for Marvel. That could very well be the case considering the lengthy negotiations the director underwent for Iron Man 2. Whatever the case may be for Favreau’s exit, Marvel has already begun searching for a new director to tackle the third chapter in the Iron Man series. There’s currently no script for the movie and filming won’t start until 2012.
While Favreau may not be on board the Marvel train anymore, he’s still working for Disney, Marvel’s parent company, on Magic Kingdom, so he’ll stay busy with that. I can’t really blame him for wanting to leave the franchise at this point. Iron Man 2 was crowded enough and I can only imagine what the third film will bring. It’s worth noting that finding a replacement director might not be so easy for Marvel, since Robert Downey Jr. has director approval written into his contract. Since this news just broke, there are many questions left to answer. For instance, will Favreau reprise his role of Happy Hogan? How will his departure effect the casting on the sequel? Who do you think Marvel will get to direct now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.