Jon Favreau Walks From 'Iron Man 3': Will the Franchise Suffer?

Linda Sharps

I always have a hard time putting Jon Favreau the Actor together with Jon Favreau the Director. For some reason he's forever stuck in my head as the mopey Mike Peters character in Swingers. I can't quite imagine him behind the big-budget camera without picturing Vince Vaughn nearby, shouting that he's money, baby. Money.

Nevertheless, he truly has been the creative force behind the Iron Man series, and he recently confirmed he will not be a part of Iron Man 3. He announced via Twitter,

"It's true. I'm directing 'Magic Kingdom,' not 'Iron Man 3.' I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best."

Magic Kingdom is a (Disney, natch) film about a family that's trapped inside of Disneyland after closing hours, when—surprise!—the theme park starts coming to life all around them.

Hmmmm. Well, I think I'd rather see Tony Stark, personally, but maybe I'm just thinking of the ho-hum results of Night at the Museum.

It's not such a strange choice for Favreau to return to family-friendly movies: he directed Elf and Zathura before being recruited to direct the 2008 Iron Man. Other big-name directors are also taking on Disney-associated films recently, like David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) who's directing the studio’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), who's been announced as director of a new Haunted Mansion film.

Favreau says he's looking forward to getting back to those early film experiences with Magic Kingdom:

"I can't begin to tell you how fulfilling the perennial nature of 'Elf' on television has been for me. It's great to be able to connect parents with children both emotionally and through humor."

Rumors are swirling that Favreau left because of money or creative differences, but he maintains there's no animosity between him and Marvel over his decision.

The question remains, though: will Iron Man 3 pack the same punch without Jon Favreau at the helm? Only time will tell, and plenty of it is needed—the release date is currently scheduled for May 13, 2013.

Does Jon Favreau's departure affect how you feel about the third Iron Man movie? Me, I'm sure I'll still see it, no matter what. Just three words are needed for MY interest: Robert. Downey. Jr.

Image via Wikipedia

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