Jon Favreau Not Directing ‘Iron Man 3′ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 15th, 2010 at 2:36 am,

jon favreau not directing iron man 3 Jon Favreau Not Directing Iron Man 3 [Updated]

It what may be the most shocking Marvel Studios related news to date, Jon Favreau, the man responsible for bringing the young studio their first worldwide blockbuster and successful franchise, is stepping down from the directorial duties of the third Iron Man film. That’s right, Iron Man 3 will not be directed by Jon Favreau.

Why? There’s no clear cut answer or official word from Favreau himself just yet, but if you piece together some recent events and take into account Marvel’s tight budgeting, you can formulate some viable working theories.

New York Magazine reports that Favreau has informed Marvel Studios of his decision and that the studio began the search for a replacement director last night. This is not something we learned on Friday from Kevin Feige’s Marvel Movies update

Here’s what we know: Marvel Studios and Favreau took time to come to a deal for Iron Man 2 due to their cost-sensitive budgetary nature. A similar issue almost resulted in fans not having Samuel L. Jackson play Nick Fury for years to come and many suspect it is the same reason Edward Norton has been replaced by Mark Ruffalo.

We also know that both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were rather rushed and in the case of the first film, they were shooting before a script was even done. With a release date already set in concrete for Iron Man 3 before they have any idea what story they’ll be telling and rumors that Marvel may be forcing in more characters as part of the bigger cinematic universe, I can understand if this played a significant factor on Favreau’s decision. As New York Magazine points out, in a recent interview with MTV, Favreau is on record explaining that he’s unaware of the studio’s plans for the Iron Man 3, as of a few weeks ago:

“In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers… 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.”

Combine that with highly-publicized financial concerns (that’s why Favreau isn’t directing The Avengers), and this could be a reason for Favreau’s decision. That, and he has lots of other projects on the go and is a solidified A-List director. Favs is finishing up work on Cowboys & Aliens as we speak, which will undoubtedly be one of the biggest summer hits of 2011, and he’s already in line to direct Magic Kingdom for Disney.

From Disney-Marvel’s perspective, Disney spent $4 billion on purchasing Marvel last year and more recently, forked over another $115 million to Paramount to buy back the distribution rights to The Avengers and Iron Man 3 so it’s understandable, although disappointing, why they feel a need to keep costs down when it comes to talent.

With Robert Downey Jr. having been replaced by Daniel Craig for Cowboys & Aliens and now Favreau not doing Iron Man 3, it begs the question, will RDJ and Favs ever work together again? We all hope so. Favreau brought the exact tone and feel we all wanted in Iron Man and he knows how to give fans a good time.

[Update: Jon Favreau explains why he left Iron Man 3]

Stay tuned for more details on Favreau’s future involvement with Marvel Studios and who may be brought in to helm Iron Man 3.

The Avengers hits theaters May 4, 2012 and Iron Man 3 is currently scheduled for release May 3rd, 2013.

Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: New York Magazine

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  1. OH NO! :(

  2. Not surprised at all.
    I wish him luck with his future endeavors .

  3. Son of a b****!

    • *gasp*

  4. Bring on Swingers 2!! hahahaha

  5. Well. This was a surprise. Bummer!

  6. God Damn it…. I seriously Hope Marvel’s not gonna screw with us (The fans) because of $$… they probably will though

  7. WHAT THE..?!

  8. So Marvel is sabotaging themselves? That’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard!!! (rolls eyes) I mean, come on, it’s not like they’re losing anything. They’re going to make at least what they put in and then some. This is stupid

  9. Great! Disney has starting to screw on Marvel. Didn’t see that coming.

  10. Good!

    The 2nd movie was a big disappointment, especially the final fight scene. I’m worried on who they’ll pick but excited to see a fresh take on Iron Man.

    • Hardly his fault. Marvel massively tampered with the script, forcing in so much Avengers stuff that it nearly ruined the movie.

      It’s called studio interference.

      • Yeah the studio needs to realize these solo movies have to be in fact solo stand alone films. They’re just using them as building blocks for Avenger movies and thats tampering with the film quality.

        • I agree 100%, and Thor and Captain America will suffer in the same way, I doubt The Avengers is going to be good enough to sacrifice the quality of these other movies.

          • @ DSB

            Sounds like Jon Favreau was mightily pissed off with the guys running MARVEL STUDIOS. I think studio interference made IM2 far inferior to IM1.

            I love MARVEL comic books but I fear the way MARVEL STUDIOS through cost cutting and studio executive interference are pushing for (B grade) quantity instead of (A grade) quality.

            If they continue in this fashion, the movies will suffer greatly and I will hold them with the same contempt I have for Phony Sony & Fox Abattoirs.

            • @DrSam

              I didn’t know that but not surprising at all.


              100% agree. Marvel are completely inexperienced when it comes to movies and should let the pro’s have more creative control. Furthermore, them pushing for a lot of the comic book stories, characters, etc is just silly. The should know that some things will just NOT transfer well from the comic book world into the movie world.

              • @ ogb

                Yeah I still think that with careful consideration for original source material and endevearing with passion, dedication and commitment; true and faithful comic book transformations to screen are acheivable.

                They can still convey a contemporary and relevant outlook for mass audiences to enjoy.

                It’s a pity that sometimes there is so much convoluted politics in the art of film making. :-)

                I don’t mean panel by panel reconstructions of a comic book,
                but rather new stories with the characters looking and behaving the same way they do in the comic books.

                I would love to see a collaboration of comic book writers and artists teamed up with experienced, critically acclaimed and distinguished film makers to present a true & faithful CBM from either DC or MARVEL. :-)

                • IMO Downey´s performance was a lot like Stark in the comic books, but I get your point. Maybe we (the screenranters) should make all the Marvel films from now on…

                  • Scapegoat I agree about RDJ as many complaints as I have about the IM films (believe me I have alot) RDJs performance was not one he nailed the part and is a brilliant actor.

  11. This is such disappointing news…..

    It really raises concerns over the future quality of Marvel films and actor/character continuity if they are not willing to fork out the cash to make it happen and keep quality talent.

    It would be understandable if there were creative difference, or if the talent demanded an outrages amount of money (which I think both of these played a part in Norton’s departure).

    This whole penny pinching business is becoming quite popular for Marvel, and I fear if they keep it, they will ruin what is becoming a great thing.

    I hope that Marvel wises up and gets Favs back.

  12. I really, really hope they dont pull a X-Men 3. with that. We all know how it ended when they replaced the director who had done two good movies of one franchise… I wonder if he will reprise his role as Happy Hogan though.

    • was wondering the same thing

  13. Aw, crap. Does this mean no more Happy Hogan if IM3 gets made?

    • he should do it he is after all a actor
      I am with you on this

      • Me too. He should reprise his role. If he doesn´t, Hogan should not be in this movie at all.

  14. Now that’s a shame, though I wonder how many more Iron Man films will there be room/time for if Avengers takes off.

  15. I’ll miss him, but I’ll be just fine! Count on it! – Stark

  16. BOO!!!

  17. He better change his damn mind
    I bet he quited out because they won’t let him do Mandarin for the third film…..great this shows no good sign at all..only way I will be happy is if he is a producer or something for it

    • We need to perform INCEPTION on him LMAO! Whose on board? :D

      • Hell yeah!

  18. So The Avengers takes it’s first casualty.

    • I’ve heard Christopher Nolan will be in need of a new franchise soon. :)

      • I’d rather Nolan did original films, that’s what he does best.

        • lol Same here. It could be interesting to see who directs any future Iron Man films, though.

          • Oh yeah I’m very interested in who will be directing, because you can see Favereau’s stamp all over Iron Man, and it will not be the same without him at the helm.
            It’s certainly not the end if the franchise, that will come when RDJ decides he doesn’t want to be Tony Stark anymore.

            • The trick will be to create something energized and fresh given it would be (at least) the fourth onscreen outing for the character. RDJ is always watchable, which is a huge advantage. We’ll just have to hope the franchise doesn’t become completely Schumachered.

              • I don´t think it will become “Schumacheread” (at least I really hope so). If the Avengers turns out to be a great movie, I´d have no problem if Whedon directs IM 3.

        • Agreed DSB :)

        • Same. I’d much rather Nolan not direct every CBM like people always suggest. I love BB and TDK, but not every superhero fits Nolan’s style.

  19. “rumors that Marvel may be forcing in more characters as part of the bigger cinematic universe”

    If true, this is very disappointing to me. I kind of understand why they felt they needed to add all these characters in ironman 2 to set up Avengers, But I was hoping that after Avengers came out that the heroes could have their own individual movies and be separate entities while still maintaining the overall continuity they have established with Avengers.

  20. Dissapointing, but not horribly surprising considering how much Marvel interfered with Iron Man 2, looks like Favreau simply got out while he could.

  21. Bring on Joel Schumacher! In all seriousness, let’s get some good wishful thinking and speculation on who could possibly fill the void left by Favreau. My vote is for Neill Blomkamp. The boy can handle technology, special effects, action, comedy, and budget restrictions. Plus the Iron Man armor is about as close to Halo as he’s probably ever going to get.

    • Blomkamp has said that he’ll never do big-budget films.

      • Despite the fact that he was going to make Halo, a $200 million project.

        • Actually, he made that decision AFTER he made D9.

          • True.

  22. say what you want about his other movies (IMOP: alot of his work is really good) he’s one of the best things to happen to the Marvel franchise. since they started making the movies

    • I LOVE all of his other movies, especially Elf… and I’m not a Will Ferrell fan so that says something.

      • You even love Zathura?

  23. Its a sad day for Favs is the reason Iron Man is the movie that it is even the rushed IM2 is still a fun movie I like Blomkamp but ill say this Mathew Vaughn wouldnt be bad choice, i even say JJ Abrahms

  24. was that all he did for the ironman movies, or did he produce as well ?
    to be honest i think the ironman movies could have been alot better, the script and most of the other things weren’t all that great the only real attraction for me was RDJ, the character(ironman) and the visuals.

    i think marvel is lowering costs because they know fans are going to swarm in regardless of how niche’ the special effects are.
    imo it wouldn’t hurt to give these movies a 100 million+ budget seeing as how they tend to draw in more than what they cost to put together.

  25. I’m not too disappointed, Iron Man was great, but IM2 was very disappointing

    • I agree Kris But its still good to have the same director.

    • i hate people always putting blame upon a studio.beside some unofficial hear-say,what proof do you have for that.
      i love the guy,but favreau has been known as a hit or miss guy.both actor and director.iron man was a hit,number 2 was a miss and it looks like cowboys and aliens will be his biggest hit so far…
      i blame justin,because script was poor,and it had way,way,way,way,way,way to much talking and very small amount of action,almost none,for a 200 mill $ movie(i dont buy that,maybe 160 mill)
      seeing how cowboys & aliens look like i would much rather see him directing a sequel to that,and iron man 3 should be handled by someone else.
      as for your opinion that they will hire a hack-favreau,branagh,johnston,whedon-i dont think so.they will hire someone cheap,but someone good.and dont worry downey will return,he has much more loyalty to marvel then favreau.he already bailed on him with cowboys & aliens,and avengers are directed by another guy…

      • Its a given fact that if a studio interferes to much in a film with a good director even if they have one or two bad films (which is a given as there is few directors that have spotless records) that it can damage the quality. Examples: Iron Man 2, Spider-Man 3, etc.
        And if you are calling those 4 directors a hack, I’m going to have to politely disagree with you as they are pretty good. Plus Downey didnt bail on Favreau, he rather wanted to make Sherlock Holmes 2 more than Cowboys and Aliens (plus he had a contract to do sequels and he wasnt under contract to make C&A).

        • read again i did not called them a hack. quite the contrary in fact.
          as for cowboys he did bailed out.sherlock 2 was not going in front of the cameras before late october,and cowboys wraped in september.

          • Sorry, read that part a little fast, my apologies. But at the time Sherlock Holmes was supposed to been filmed earlier but its dates got pushed forward.

      • @kure, You my friend hit the nail on the head and that is what I was saying that hurt Iron Man 2 all along. RDJ pulled for Justin Theroux because he did well with Tropic Thunder the problem was that they should have kept the original screenwriters they had for Iron Man 1 because they had the momentum going and knew what they were doing. Justin Theroux’s screenwriting style is more based on quirky dialog and more quirky dialog. They made the wrong decision by hiring Justin Theroux.

    • @ Kris. IM 2 wasn´t as good as IM 1, but it was far from disappointing.

  26. This is looking like Marvel is fixing to do sepuku or the Samurai death thing but without the honor.
    Seriously they have the power of Disney to throw cash down, they have the backing of a huge fan base and the fact that people who dont read comics like the films behind them too…so there is no point to do stinkin cost cutting and making some good pieces leave the puzzle.

  27. Truly disappointing, I admit, but considering that Marvel is attempting to be penny-wise while also being dollar foolish by dumping many of the creative people who’ve given the young studio its biggest successes so far, as well as constantly interfering with the production of IM2, my interest in the remaining Marvel movies has diminished considerably.

    Also, after reading several interviews where Robert Downey Jr. has expressed an interest in directing, wonder if Marvel would give him the opportunity to direct IM3?

  28. Luckily this is just a rumor. Not confirmed.

    • It has been confirmed.

  29. so does this mean no Happy hogan in Iron Man 3?

    • It’s fair to assume that yes.