While Robert Downey Jr. gets the credit of being the poster boy who helped kickstart the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before he was even involved, it was director Jon Favreau who made that film - and the casting of RDJ - a reality. Without his work and without Marvel giving Favreau a chance, Iron Man may not have been the success story it is today.
Iron Man earned a sequel, albeit a problematic and rushed one, but despite those issues Favreau stuck round to co-star in Shane Black's Iron Man 3 where he reprised the role of fan-fave character Happy Hogan. Part of his contract extension also saw Favs take on the role of Executive Producer on Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and as we learned this week, he'll also be helping exec produce Avengers: Infinity War.
Favreau's latest film for Disney, The Jungle Book, won over critics and set a record as the second highest April opening of all-time. Like Iron Man back in 2008, The Jungle Book 2 was immediately greenlit with Favreau attached to the sequel although it's not 100% confirmed if he'll direct. Speaking with Digital Spy about the success and how it affords him opportunities to choose his projects going forward, Favreau says he's been involved and has the time to help with Infinity War.
"I'm going to be executive producing the Avengers films with the Russo brothers, which I'm very excited about... I talk to them about it all the time. I've worked both in front of and behind the camera with Marvel and I really love what they're doing right now.
"It's a really exciting time to be over there. I've seen a rough cut of Civil War and it's fantastic... We're constantly looking for things to do together. And now I'm freed up."
As for whether or not Favreau will direct another Marvel movie, he doesn't really have an answer but explains that directing two Iron Man movies back-to-back was tiring and that's why he declined on Iron Man 3.
"The question is, do I want to do something else in the superhero genre? I've spent a big chunk of my career working on that already. All new titles are coming out now."
For that very reason, the director says he's surprised he's not exhausted from The Jungle Book, but as a close friend of Robert Downey Jr., still involved on the producing side of things, and still having a character to potentially play again in the MCU, Favreau may be around for a while still in the Marvel family. Maybe he can make Iron Man 4 happen in Phase 4. After what he's done for the Marvel franchise and now Disney's live-action fairy tale series, he can do whatever he wants, and Infinity War may renew his and RDJ's interest in collaborating on another...
Note: Favreau recently said Disney's Magic Kingdom movie is still in development but with The Jungle Book 2 greenlit, his involvement could change.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Digital Spy