Way back in 2008, Marvel Studios released a film with a “B-level” character in Iron Man, led by an actor going through a ton of problems in Robert Downey Jr., and had the director of Elf attached in Jon Favreau. Not exactly a bonafide hit on paper, but when it was released, it ultimately changed everything for the film industry. Marvel Studios kicked off a shared universe that every other studio is now desperately trying to emulate. However, not everything went as Favreau planned. The sequel Iron Man 2 was forced to do a lot of world building and struggled to maintain the level of excellence that he achieved in Iron Man. Since directing Iron Man 2, Favreau has appeared again as Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3 and has been executive producing many Marvel films after.
And while it was sad to see him not return for the third Iron Man film, Favreau has experienced a lot of success with Chef and the recent critical & financial hit, The Jungle Book, to which he has already signed on to direct the sequel. His re-emergence in public popularity has raised a lot of questions recently over what could bring him back to Marvel. He recently confirmed that he’ll executive produce Avengers: Infinity War, but a lot of people want him to direct another Marvel film (maybe that Iron Man 4 movie Downey has teased). Now while talking to IGN, he revealed what exactly it would take for him to return and it is not as complicated as you might think.
A great story. I know the people over there. I like them. I still executive produce the Avengers series and I like what they’re doing a lot now, I do. By the same token I feel like I’ve made my mark; whatever we did in those early days has continued and is in good hands with new filmmakers with fresh voices.
Before you get ahead of yourself and start putting him as the director for various Marvel films, he is not sure if he is still the right fit for the world that Marvel has built. However, he does confirm that there is interest from both sides to have be involved in a role more than just an EP.
I think they’re hiring the right kinds of filmmakers – I couldn’t be more impressed with this one [Civil War], and Guardians of the Galaxy I thought was an unexpected, delightful film. I just think how I fit in now might be different. It’s 10 years later, and now I’m more of an elder statesman. But we talk a lot about how I could be involved there and I exist both in front of and behind the camera in the Marvel universe, which puts me in a unique position which I enjoy.
We’re always trying to figure out if there’s a way for me to contribute beyond just being an executive producer there. I wouldn’t be surprised if something pops up soon, but there’s no one property that we’re identifying that I’d want to helm up and shoulder. Because now that the universe has gotten so big over there, I don’t know that I understand how it all fits together anymore. I was there in the early days when the universe was very small. Now the universe is very big there and they seem to have it well in hand.
While both sides talk about where he could fit in, as either a director or reprising his role as Happy, there is no film currently announced that needs a director where I think Favreau would be a fit. However, I expect if both sides are truly interested in working together again he could return for Phase 4. Personally, him doing the final Iron Man solo film with Downey would be a great way to tie up that franchise, but there is another possibility that interests me even more. There have been a lot of rumors of Marvel getting the rights back to Fantastic Four in the near future, and a Fantastic Four movie with him as the director makes a lot of sense to me in Phase 4. Favreau has a knack to develop characters, tell a great story, and is very well-versed in CGI that could benefit the film.
Let us know if you want to see Favreau return to Marvel in the comments below, and if so in what capacity?