Jon Favreau Turns Down Iron Man 3 reports that director Jon Favreau has decided to walk away from the Iron Man film franchise and will not be returning for a third installment. The nature of this departure has not been disclosed, but the site's Vulture blog references some statements Favreau made in regard to the plot of a prospective Iron Man 3, or really, his befuddlement and frustration over the studio's plans. 

"In a recent interview with MTV News, Favreau explained that based on his conversations with Marvel Studios executives, he had no clarity as to what a third Iron Man film would even be about. “In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers,” said Favreau at the time, “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.”"

Sad news, as Favreau was instrumental not only in the success of the Iron Man film franchise, but also the renaissance of Marvel Studios. Would there be an Avengers film without him? Even the Cap or Thor films? Probably not. 

It would also be unfortunate if this is all over the encroaching presence of that Avengers flick. It already imposed itself upon Iron Man 2. Is the element of continuity we enjoyed so much in the first film–and got a bit frustrated with in the second–beginning to sour the third Iron Man before it even starts? Continuity, man. It giveth and taketh away. 

Oh, and we also don't know if he'll be reprising his role as Happy Hogan. Tony might need a new ride. 

RIGHT: Favreau on the grid-iron. 


  1. This is sad news. I hope it’s just the director’s desire to do other projects rather than Marvel being too hands on.

  2. First Norton, now Favreau. This might get problematic in the future.

  3. What Marvel Studios needs is some, ahem, architects.

    What? Too soon?

    But seriously — this is the double-edged sword of continuity. If you’re going to have an interconnected movie universe, you’ve got to have a clear framework, and you’ve got to decide — is every movie dependent upon the others? Or can Iron Man 3 be a solo adventure? Will general audiences accept that they can go from Avengers back to a solo tale the way that comics do? This is really unprecedented in film.

    Honestly, my thought would be that the framework should be laid in Avengers — something at the end of that movie spins Iron Man, Thor, and Cap into further solo adventures before returning to Avengers 2. Assuming they can keep all of these big budget franchises afloat. Which is kind of a risk.

  4. In the absence of Favreau, who would you like to see direct Iron Man 3?

  5. The problem is PAY, absolutely.  These movies don’t pay top dollar for any of it’s stars, to keep the budget down.  Why would Ed Norton, Jon Favreau, Terrence Howard, etc. dedicate the time and effort into a movie that doesn’t pay them competitive salaries?  They could make more money elsewhere.  Tobey Maguire almost walked after 1 movie.  (I hear Brandon Routh lives on the street.  Tough break)

  6. Whats more alarming is his statement that the studio doesn’t seem to know what its doing with the Avengers characters. Seems like they are trying to stuff as many characters as possible on to that movie poster. 

  7. @PaulMontgomery  I think Doug Liman could do a bang up job in the directors chair for this kind of movie. either him or Garth Jennings.

  8. @PaulMontgomery  Maybe someone like Paul Greengrass.  We would gain a certain grittiness with him, but lose the sense of fun that Favreau put into the first movie.

  9. Yeah, who wants fun?

  10. I’m going to toss Joss out there as a suggested IM3 director, but *only* because he’s already working on the avengers movie and not because i’m a fan girl.  aside from him or the directing Gunn (i can’t remember which one that is: Seth?), I don’t see anyone in hollywood who gets the geeky aspect that made the ironman franchise so enjoyable for me.  maaaybe edgar wright, but i’m not sure how well he’d do with big budgets and explosions.

  11. @Kelly  James Gunn (Slither)?

  12. @PaulMontgomery  Well we all know Josh would like it more if it had less fun. Also more vampires and more british mystics.

    I kid because i love

  13. I’m not sure where the fire is here;  Iron Man 3 is so far away at this point that I’m not surprised that Marvel even would “know” what the film is.  A lot of these things should be done much closer the actual pre-production and filming, and from Disney’s perspective, after we all see how much success/failure/headache the Avengers film will be.

    And that being said, the director will probably be whoever’s going to have a indie hit that makes a name for him/herself within the next two years who then want to get some crossover appeal;  something that’s always benifitial to the studio & the director. 

  14. Well, that’s a darn shame. I’m afraid we’re seeing something similar to what happened to the X-Men franchise when it lost Singer…

  15. @paul yes. that Gunn.

  16. I dunno who I’d pick, exactly, but I think the best successor would be someone who really understands storytelling (moreso than visual flare), and who — in the midst of multiple franchises and the push and pull of various influences (including the studio and the stars) — can exert enough willpower to ensure that IM3 will have a valid story set in the shared world but still ultimately gives us Tony Stark’s next steps.

    I like the suggestions of Doug Liman (though he’s had a few clunkers that would worry me) and Edgar Wright.

  17. @daccampo  If we could get Liman to bring together the vibe he had on Swingers along with the Bourne vibe it would be perfect

  18. Brad Bird? 

  19. @RoiVampire  I could go with that.

    @PaulMontgomery  Has he ever done live action? He certainly has the storytelling chops!

  20. @daccampo  He was set to do 1906 in live action, but that stalled. Now I believe he’s working on Mission Impossible. 

  21. I blame Marvel’s incompetence and Disney’s greed. So what else is new?

  22. @PaulMontgomery  Nathan Fillion

  23. @reg5000  Oooooh i bet Chris Pine could do a great job too

  24. I’m not sure we even need an Iron Man 3 after The Avengers.  I’m sure the studio wouldn’t mind another financial success and I wouldn’t mind wathcing it if it is good but it seems like Iron Man in movies may be running its course (for now) after three appearances.

  25. He is a good (but not great) director. He helped IM be a success but the script and actors were the strongest aspects of that film. I truly believe that there are a large number of directors who could do a better job with action while maintaining the I’M tone

  26. Wow what a bummer, Favreau was one of the reasons for me to see the Iron Man movie in the first place since I love all of his movies. It is really hard to imagine Iron Man 3 working at all without Favreau now, but if I had to take a guess at what the smart thing to do for replacing him as director is to get Joss Whedon as the director. Since he is already doing Avengers & this would mean he would have to work on the movie right after Avengers finishes this is a bit of a stretch, but the way Whedon can humanize the characters in his TV shows & film (Serenity) is so enthralling and heartfelt that it entertains to the last second. For a character like Tony Stark (the man of the future & technological advance) a director that can really humanize him should be the way to go. Also with Whedon doing Avengers he would already have the experience of Tony Stark’s character & RBJ as well (even if he is appearing as a “consultant” role or whatever) depending on how that movie plays out I would say that Whedon would be the wisest replacement for director of Iron Man that Marvel could make, let’s hope!

  27. I love how people are saying that Marvel Studios is “in trouble” because Favreau and Norton are gone. To me this is no different from when a creative team leaves and a new one takes over. Did anybody really think that Jon was going to direct Iron Man forever? No matter what happens we will still have Iron Man 1.

  28. I’ll have to agree with what some others have said and go with Joss Whedon, but I wish Favreau had stuck around for it.

  29. That’s unfortunate.

  30. Relax everybody. IRON MAN 2 sucked anyways. They just need to get a talented guy to do it. There are tons of talented people that will come cheaper. Don’t worry about it.

  31. I express my disapproval with punctuation >{

  32. It’s interesting how everyone talks about this continuity but considering they’re fine with multiple actors playing a single character, I don’t think the people at Marvel really care. They just want to make money on these films.

  33. @THX7168  True enough. But we’re talking about continuity in terms of bridging the franchises together. The connective tissue linking all of these films to the Avengers. While these bridges are cool, they seem to be making it very difficult to get much independent plotting done.  

  34. Top Hollywood talent no longer seems to have any compunctions about working on comic book movies.  There is no hotter director in Hollywood (in an artistic sense) than Darren Aronofsky, and if Aronofsky is willing to direct the next Wolverine movie, I’m sure Marvel can attract a top talent to direct Iron Man 3.

  35. Can you imagine if the actors started turning down IM3 because Favereau wasn’t attached and IM3 featured all new people?

  36. @Scootman Can I imagine that? Yes. Will it probably happen? Absolutely not.

    I would like James Gunn, Brad Bird, Joss Whedon, or someone in that vein to work on this.

  37. Shame, I think Favreau had a lot to do with giving the films the flavor they have that made them so successful. Still, another director might not be a bad thing. I did raise my brow, though, at that quote from Favreau saying they have no plans going forward. And I realize there’s some wait and see before they more forward, but building a cross-movie franchise like this require some forethought and planning.

  38. @SCOOTMAN  Well, I think RDJ And Paltrow are contractually bound to be an all three. I dunno, seems to that’s how it works usually.

    Can someone elucidate?

  39. So far, the only great Marvel movie was Iron Man and that was all RDJ/Favreau. I don’t have high hopes for the Marvel Stdio movies.

  40. Joe Carnahan (Though it was pointed out to me that he’d be better for Punisher and I agree but Iron Man 3 is coming first) granted A-team had a bit of shacky cam, but honestly I’d love to see him do something like this. 

  41. @Jurassicalien Carnahan really should be one of the biggest names in Hollywood. The A-Team was great fun, NARC is probably one of my favorite films of all time, and Smokin Aces was such a great tense action packed thriller with great characters. I’d love to see him bring the grit with a Punisher movie, but A-Team showed he has the chops to do balls to the wall action an he’d be perfect for IM3

  42. JJ Abrams. Just saying.

  43. @TeleCarlos  If someone like JJ Abrams took over I don’t think many people would be upset to lose Favs. He did a good job but anyone who really thinks he is a great director is fooling himself. Favreau is a competent director but certainly not one of the greats working today. I think there are quite a few directors out there who could maintain the tone established in the first two films but direct the action and special effects much better (an absolute necessity if the third film is to be a success)

  44. It’s a shame to see him go but not fully surprising. Whatever happens with the Avengers film will most definitely effect all the solo films coming out of it. So I’m not surprised that Marvel Studios, and also Jon Favreau, have no idea what they’re gonna do in the long run.

    I have no idea who could possibly replace him, since he does have his own voice with the direction and characterizations of the two films. Brad Bird might be a good choice, but since he’s bogged down on doing his very first live action film, it probably would be too much for him for now.

    How about Darron Aaronofsky? He seems to know how to make comic films better.

  45. @TNC: Lets wait until The Wolverine comes out before we say he makes good comic book movies. I do love his work (really want to see Black Swan) but I don’t know if his style will work for comic movies.

  46. i agree with amir, iron man 2 sucked, so why worry?

  47. eWell, if Iron Man 2 had weaknesses was it because of Favreau or because of executive interference? Hard to know… The news sounds like John had the gig but turned it down. Him having the upper hand here. As if he just doesn’t want to be involved anymore or something. Not that he was fired because of his creative incompetence.

  48. I remember Favreau and the studio butting heads well over a year before Iron Man 2 began filming – and at that point Favreau was very unsure a 2nd film would be done in the time frame the studio demanded, let alone by his hands. 

    Lest we forget all the in-fighting between Marvel/Disney & Sam Jackson, and that also worked out…..

    ….so all in all I’d say don’t worry about it. Favreau will either be back or not, and in that case he’ll be replaced by someone we can only hope will put a good flick together.

    End of story…….for now. haha 

  49. Sad news, as Iron Man stands as one of the best comic movies to date. On the other hand, Iron Man 2 (upon rewatching it a few days ago) was a bit of a mess. Certainly, some of the blame could be levied at studio for forcing Favreau to include Avengers stuff, but at the end of the day it was up to J Fav to make the movie work, in spite of interference. In my opinion, he failed at this task.

    Does this mean that I wanted him gone from the franchise? Of course not, IM was great, and everyone has a bad movie now and then.

    It also means that I’m super excited to see what another director can do at the helm of this franchise.

  50. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not a good sign either. Sure, Favreau could’ve just been tired of Iron Man, and he could’ve been just shooting his mouth off. But what if he wasn’t? It wouldn’t shock me to learn that Marvel has no idea what they’re doing with these movies.

    Keep in mind that no studio has ever tried anything like this before. Positioning three franchises so that they all line up for a team-up franchise is no easy task. I agree with Paul that already it’s gotten in the way of cohesive story-telling in IM2, and I wouldn’t be suprised to see some more of that in Cap and Thor.

    After all is said and done, this will either be a historical Hollywood feat, or a cautionary tale. I for one would rather have a handful of entertaining stand-alone movies than a series of mediocre ones than have their own continuity.

  51. I gues Favreau got fed up with management. Since the success of the first IM movie, t seems to me that Marvel keeps trying to rush these movies out to cash in. I think Favreau wanted to put out a quality film and Marvel kept rushing him. I don’t know who would be a good director. Maybe Schumacher…. anyone, anyone? *crickets churping* Anyway I’ll go with Danny Boyle or Michael Bay. Ironman  + splosions YAY!!!!

  52. Sad news, but really how good do you think Iron Man 3 will be? The second one was terrible because the climax was the same as the first, with a more ineffectual villain. You can only rely in Downey’s charm for so long before it gets irritating because it can get so over the top at times. Although the Mandarin is a cool villain, the fact they didn’t put him in the second (RE: Nolan putting Joker in Dark Knight) is because Favreau hadn’t figured out how to incorporate him into a film. That is a big worry. So instead of pushing for higher stakes and really thinking outside the box, they went for a safe villain (Totally stupid putting Mickey Rourke in there, I don’t care what anyone else says) that gets defeated five minutes after showing up in his bad ass suit. I think Favreau did a good job on Iron Man, he nailed everything, including the continuity and made it work. That all appears to be a genuine accident, as they all admit stuff was made up on set. Therefore I don’t even believe Favreau would have had the bottle to take it where it needed to go, therefore he walked because he mostly wanted to play it safe and Marvel couldn’t give him assurances that when the dust settled, he could do exactly that. This Cowboys and Aliens looks incredibly stupid, I can’t believe sine exec gave a green light to what will most likely be a piece of genre splicing garbage and a monumental waste of time and money. I feel bad for Daniel Craig because Layer Cake is one of the best London gangster films ever.

  53. Wonder if The Mouse taking over had anything to do with all this?

  54. Duncan Jones. Please?

  55. Ok so it looks like Favreau is leaving IM3 to direct Disney’s Magic Kingdom. It almost looks like Disney (as Marvel’s parent corp) gave Favreau a bigger plate.

  56. TBF Favreau’s action scenes are totally shit.

  57. From what I remember of Iron Man 2’s production, didn’t they not even have a completed script when they started filming?  Didn’t Faverou and company basically write the movie as they went along?  I feel like that has to be really frustrating with a big budget, CGI heavy movie.  Who would want that stress? 

    When I think of Iron Man, I think of how much fun the first one was. Someone like J.J. Abrams- look at what he did with Star Trek. That would fit the bill.