Director Jon Favreau helped create the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today through his work as the director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2. He also appeared in those movies and their sequel, the Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3, as Tony Stark's chauffeur and bodyguard, Happy Hogan.
While his most recent work has taken him outside of the MCU and into the jungle with his successful live-action take on The Jungle Book, Favreau has expressed an interest in returning to the MCU as more than just an executive producer. Now it looks like his wish will come true next year, courtesy of Spider-Man Homecoming.
Variety reports that according to their sources, Favreau will appear in the Marvel/Sony collaboration, once again taking up the role of Happy Hogan. Hogan was a little worse for wear at the end of Iron Man 3, having been hit by an Extremis-caused explosion and ending up in a coma. After being revived by his love for Downton Abbey, however, it appears Hogan will be back in business and ready to appear alongside his boss once more as Tony Stark makes his own appearance in the new Spider-Man movie.
With Captain America: Civil War thawing the previously icy relationship between Marvel and Sony by introducing Tom Holland as the rebooted Spider-Man and priming fans for his return in a solo movie, it also opened the gates for other MCU characters to appear in the movie as well. Since it is already known that Iron Man makes an appearance as he continues his mentorship of Peter Parker, it makes sense that his occasional sidekick would make an appearance as well.
Whether or not this signals Favreau's return to the MCU in a larger capacity, such as directing a future film, is up in the air. It could just be a one-time return to his supporting role, or it could mean Happy Hogan will be appearing in more movies to come. Either way, it is an indication that Spider-Man Homecoming is indeed a part of the larger MCU despite its origins at Sony, and will no doubt fit into that universe in ways we do not yet know.
Doctor Strange opens 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 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet-untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.