Favreau Explains Why He Left Marvel for Disney's Magic Kingdom

December 15, 2010
Source: Hero Complex

Jon Favreau

Time for an explanation. Yesterday it was not-so-surprisingly announced that Jon Favreau would not be directing Iron Man 3 for Marvel Studios and that he was actually "parting ways" with Marvel. Since that hit, there have been wild allegations regarding the break-up, including a report on ComicBookMovie about Favreau and Robert Downey Jr's friendship falling apart because Iron Man 2 "sucked." But Hero Complex says "other folks report rumors but we have the ONLY interview with Jon Favreau about his departure from the Iron Man franchise and his plans for Magic Kingdom, which will bring Disneyland to life." Read on!

Hero Complex editor Geoff Boucher talked at length with Favreau about the Marvel situation and his future.

"Marvel and I both came of age together," Favreau said. "The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in… 'Iron Man' has given me tremendous opportunities and Kevin [Feige] and I are enjoying a lot of momentum in our careers thanks to the 'Iron Man' films. I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world."

We are looking forward to seeing that as well, but it will be bitter sweet without Favreau. So how did he get there? Well, after directing Iron Man 2, Favreau wanted a change, as all directors do who work on projects for years and years. The main impulse was to "find something that lights a fire" inside of him as a filmmaker and gives him a chance to "blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations." He's obviously working on Cowboys & Aliens right now, but also has Magic Kingdom lined up next at Disney, a Night at the Museum-like family adventure where the things in the park come to life that will tap into vintage Disney imagery that "loomed so large in the imagination" of his generation.

“Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to,” Favreau said of his youth in Flushing, N.Y. "Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child. When I first heard about the ['Magic Kingdom' film] project, I was on my way to visit Disneyland with my family. I took notes and had no problem filling a book with all the ideas that this concept offered, even on first blush. Since then, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Imagineering by Tony Baxter, who knows just about everything there is to know about Disneyland. He pulled original concept art from the archives for me and exposed me to Walt’s original vision.”

So the problem is, with Iron Man 3, despite being a sequel to The Avengers, is that there's a "storytelling" issue, namely: "Where does a third Iron Man go with no cliffhanger wrapping up the second film?" There's no urgency to get a third one in the works because of the second one's lukewarm response either. Basically, Favreau just sees no motivation to stick around for that, when he can play in Disney's very magical kingdom of fun. At least, this is what Hero Complex is reporting, as you're still welcome to consider CBM's claims that it was the improv and lack of script that ruined Favreau's relationship with Marvel Studios and Downey Jr.

At the moment, Favreau is excited to get to work on Magic Kingdom, which "he has been researching" while in post on Cowboys & Aliens. "It's great to be able to connect parents with children both emotionally and through humor. I look forward to exploring family entertainment once again and examining the specifics of our day-to-day lives against the backdrop of an extraordinary adventure." He sounds happy with his career choices and doesn't really need to be around for Iron Man 3, though we're very curious to see who does end up directing. I think it's best to finish with Favreau's humble and simple tweet from the other day: "It's true, I'm directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best."

Find more posts: Editorial, Movie News, Opinions



I hate how they give these bs responses to a situation. Of course he's not going to bash Marvel or say anything negative. We know damn well it didn't go as smoothly as he's making it seem. Who knows what the real reason is to why he won't direct the third film.

big r on Dec 15, 2010


Marvel loves to step on its talent's toes.

germs on Dec 15, 2010


doesn't disney own marvel? he's directing for the mother studio instead of a subsidiary. whoopeee freaking doooo.

xtheory on Dec 15, 2010


What a douche!

hitgirl on Dec 15, 2010


Thanks for ruining Iron Man 2 for us!

hitgirl on Dec 15, 2010


that cbm report is such bullshit. favreau and downey work without scripts. they did the first iron man with barely a script. jeff bridges himself said that half the time he didn't know what was going to happen the next day of shooting since favreau and downey did mostly improv.

don on Dec 15, 2010


not the real reason I'm sure...it seems the Marvel studio heads don't like it when their directors talk back.

Xerxex on Dec 15, 2010


IM2 mightve sucked from his point of view, but it wasnt so bad, lived up to its role as a filler movie while were waiting for avengers..

harrison on Dec 15, 2010


i liked Iron Man 2 much more than Iron Man.

Astroboy3000 on Dec 15, 2010


Okay. He wont' be directing Iron Man 3. Fine. But will he be back as Happy, Stark's assistant? I love him as Happy ^_^

Astrian on Dec 16, 2010


i couldn't be more excited for what he could pull off with the Magic Kingdom flick. he cares about it and is obviously enthused

lane on Dec 16, 2010


I just want to know who the hell is going to be playing Happy Hogan now? I'm thinking Terrence Howard would be perfect...

Outlaw on Dec 16, 2010


Wait! When did Iron Man 2 "suck"? I loved it. I'm a little sad to hear that. Good Luck Jon! 🙂

l.21 on Dec 16, 2010


I like Jon Favreau, he did what he could with what he was given. I don't blame him for went wrong with IM 2. It didn't totally suck, just kind of squished into too small amount of time. I think he did so well with the first IM that no matter what, IM2 was gonna be destined for criticism. Nonetheless being a fan of the Disneyland parks and going quite often I am looking forward to what he will do with Magic Kingdom. I am excited about this project and I wouldn't rather have anyone else helming this. If he's really excited about this I'm sure he's gonna do a great job.

the douche on Dec 16, 2010


I blame AC/DC for getting me super-stoked for the garbage that was IronMan2 anyways.

Voice of Reason on Dec 16, 2010


Iron Man 2 definitely wasn't as good as the first one; I think all the critical reactions and IMDB reactions are pretty accurate in that judgment. Still wish Favreau would direct the third film though; he's clearly a talented director.

George on Dec 16, 2010


damn i hope he didnt leave 🙁

A5J4DX on Dec 16, 2010


That read like his PR agent wrote it. And Iron Man 2 really wasn't that bad at all.

marvel doesn't think you're money, jon on Dec 16, 2010


yeah what is up with people calling iron man 2 shit? im not easily satisfied and i left the cinema with a giant grin, my only problem was the fight at the end. hate how these directors and actors keep taking on films that they know cant end after 1, and then dropping off, just fucking stick with it and make it epic

dave on Dec 17, 2010


I don't blame him for not wanting to make Iron Man 3. Iron Man 2 was horrible. The 1st film was great and instead of making the sequal better than the original like (X-Men 2/Spider-man 2) this franchise fell flat on it's nose with the second film. He wants something to light his fire and Iron Man 2 put out the fire. So making Iron Man 3 would be a waste of his time. As to who should be blamed for Iron Man 2. The blame comes to down to the producers of the film. They are the one's that approve the scriptwriting. But then again some of the acting was pretty lame in that film as well. Seemed like Robert was phoning in his performance this time round and as much as I like Mickey Rourke I was not that impressed with him in the film.

Last Son on Dec 17, 2010

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