James here with Wednesday’s News Reflections.
More Jon Favreau related news, and this time it’s bad… maybe. The ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2’ director has decided, with good reason, to leave the franchise. I learned of this from this article.
Favreau left because Marvel Studios is, apparently, unfocused and confused. As he said,
“In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers… 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.”
I’m sure they can rustle up a good director of ‘Iron Man 3’, but that’s hardly the issue. If Marvel’s suits don’t really know what they’re doing, if in fact they are unaware of what direction this boulder this roll, they’re in big trouble. There’s no stopping the ‘Avengers’ behemoth now. If it fails creatively, people will still go see it, if only to see what kind of damage the giant boulder can do. I don’t think Favreau’s departure from the undeveloped sequel project is a death knell, per se, but I hope it convinces the execs to find greater focus.
But wait! Favreau has more to say, as found in this LA Times article. He says, among other things,
“Marvel and I both came of age together. 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 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.”
He also says that basically he’s switching his focus to Disney’s ‘Magic Kingdom’ film, and that’s the real reason for his departure, not a creative dissatisfaction with Marvel. That would seem to directly contradict his earlier statement. It could be because he was angry about something and spoke too soon or perhaps too honestly, and his interview with the LA Times is a political move just to smooth things over and make it all look positive and professional. Though I’m sure that if Favreau wanted to direct ‘Iron Man 3’, Marvel could accommodate his ‘Magic Kingdom’ schedule because he already gave them two big hits.
I don’t doubt that Favreau’s decision comes from creative passion for his Disney project, but such passion is a double-edged sword, and I have a feeling that he really did mean his earlier statement. Of course, just because one director expresses disappointment with Marvel’s grand scheme does not mean it will fail, or be anywhere as bad as I said it could be. The Favreau situation is really interesting because of the director/studio dynamic at play. The truth of the situation is left to the future and our best guess.