[Marvel] has asked me to be an Executive Producer on 'The Avengers' so I'll be there to help as much the director would want me to. Iron Man 3 is years down the road, and that has to reflect the reality of what's been established, not just in 'Iron Man 1 and 2', but in movie time, between this film and that film, is 'The Incredible Hulk,' 'Thor,' 'Captain America' and 'The Avengers.' I haven't had to inherit anybody else's back story yet—it's just simply what we chose to use or not use from the comic books—so I'm feeling like I'm passing the baton and after all those movies are done, it's time to sit down and discuss if there's something I can bring to it, if it's something we want to do together, but that's way down the road.
This sounds like bad news for the future.
I understand what Favreau is doing here; he doesn't want to commit to another Iron Man years down the road if the Marvel film universe becomes too convoluted. With so many different tie-ins to other movies, he might be backed into a creative corner by the material he has to work with. It's a responsible move on his part as a filmmaker to avoid being creatively restricted by outside influences. When that type of thing happens, you end up with a disappointing product like Spider-man 3, which was caused by Sony pressuring director, Sam Raimi, to include well known villains, rather than ones that he could have worked well with creatively. But, you can't blame Sony for emo Spidey and the dancing... that's on you, Raimi.
The thought of someone else taking over the franchise from Favreau doesn't sit well with me. Remember the first Mission Impossible, directed by Brian De Palma? It was pretty good, right? It had a cool gadgety spy feel to it. Now try and remember how cheesy and weird John Woo's Mission Impossible II was in comparison. Doves were flying around everywhere while Tom Cruise ran in slow motion and performed ridiculously impractical spinning jump kicks. It wasn't terrible, per se, but it wasn't as good as the first.
I think Marvel got lucky in pairing Favreau with Iron Man, and I don't think that anyone that is willing to take over the franchise will be able to deliver the same quality combination of fun, action, and humor that he's been able to. John Favreau knows how to work well with these particular actors now, and he knows how to use them. Throwing a new director into the mix has a good chance of messing up the whole on-set dynamic.
The silver lining here is that by not committing to another Iron Man yet, he has more time to dip his toes into some of the other Marvel projects that are in the works at the moment. Devoting more time to The Avengers can't be a bad thing.
What do you think? Will Favreau direct Iron Man 3? Is there a director out there capable of taking over the reigns from him? Did you enjoy emo Spider-man? Let me know!