In the aftermath of yesterday’s news that he was leaving Marvel Studios’ billion dollar Iron Man franchise, director Jon Favreau talked with the LA Times to dispel much of the speculation as to why he was stepping down from the director’s chair.
As the news of Favreau’s departure spread yesterday, so too did speculation as to the reasons why he might be doing so. Recent interview statements where he talked about how he doesn’t quite understand how to reconcile the crossover nature of Iron Man’s technology-based hero with Marvel’s other superhero films given the studio’s plan to have them all co-exist within the same cinematic reality. An alternate theory was that as Favreau continued to get more hit films under his belt, the price for his services may be getting hire than what Marvel is willing to pay.
But Favreau dismissed such talk, stating that he was moving on in order to tackle a new project that he says “lights a fire” inside of him as a filmmaker and will give him a chance to “blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn’t loaded with built-in expectations.”
The new project is the previously reported Magic Kingdom, which the LA Times described as “a family fantasy adventure that will tap into the vintage Disney creations that ‘loomed so large in the imagination’ of [Favreau’s] generation.” Even while still finishing off the post-production of his upcoming Cowboys & Aliens, due next summer, Favreau has already begun the research for the new project.
Favreau insists that the parting is aimicable, and given that Magic Kingdom is going to be produced for Disney, who owns Marvel Studios there is no reason to doubt him. As he told the Times –
Marvel and I both came of age together… The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studio’s head honcho] 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.