Jon Favreau, who brought Iron Man to the screen twice to large box offices and bringing comic-based movies back to the forefront, has told Marvel Studios he will not return for Iron Man 3. I’m sure we’ll get an official reason from one or both sides soon (and will likely step around the issue), but the street-word is that it was either the studio wanting to throw in a bunch of other Marvel heroes into the movie in the hopes of seeding more spinoffs (I thought that was what The Avengers was for?), and/or Favreau’s price tag this time around. And with Marvel now owned by Disney (they paid $4 billion for Marvel, and another $115 million to Paramount to fully own the rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers), Disney dislikes the idea of too many gross-based contracts skimming off their money.
Let me throw out another idea – rather than throwing in more heroes to seed more movies, Disney may want to take advantage of their ownership to seed their theme parks, which thus far have not benefited from the acquisition and thanks to Universal Orlando’s open-ended contact for a number of the major characters (Spider-Man, The Hulk, etc.), Disney would need to raise visibility of some to be able to capitalize.
Favreau will still work with Disney in the near-term, however – he’s working on the tentatively-titled Magic Kingdom project, which deals with a family trapped in the Disney park at night – where the the characters come to life.
Update: Jon Favreau confirmed the news on Twitter.