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Jon Favreau Leaves Iron Man 3 Behind

Favreau twitters picture of Disney research, days before official announcement

In a surprise move, several media sources on Tuesday said that Jon Favreau has opted out of the director chair for Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3. This was later confirmed by Favreau himself via his Twitter account. As the one who shepherded the Iron Man franchise from the beginning and having both the original and sequel garnering international box office sales over $1 billion combined, which basically re-energized Robert Downey Jr.’s long faded star; it is quite a shock that one of the great minds behind the franchise has stepped away from this cash cow.

As per usual, as soon as this story hit the presses, much speculation began. Some believed conflicts with Marvel’s management was to blame for his departure, others thought it was financial disagreements. What could possibly motivate such a bold move? Favreau explains via Twitter, saying “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.” It is to the point, a short and concise explanation for someone who’s just simply moving on and focusing on another project. Just last month Empire reported that Favreau was possibly already developing the script for MK while Disney has been trying to get this off the ground for at least two years. As to what the Magic Kingdom is about?  Favreau goes on to describe it in a Los Angeles Times exclusive interview, as a family fantasy adventure that will tap into the vintage Disney creations”. More specifically, it will tell the tale of the aforementioned Magic Kingdom, with all its attractions, coming to life and wreaking havoc on guests ala Night at the Museum.

To quell any more conspiracy theories is a reminder that Marvel Entertainment is now a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company and more from the LA Times exclusive reveals that Favreau parted ways with Iron Man 3 on good terms and “he remains close to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige”. Showing further proof of an existing working relationship with Marvel, Favreau is staying on as producer for Marvel’s 2012 epic superhero team-up The Avengers with Iron Man as one of the Avengers. Can Iron Man soldier on successfully without Jon Favreau at the helm? Will Disney’s hope for another money-making franchise pay off? Stay tuned!

Alan Lai