As you may have heard, Jon Favreau has decided that a post-Iron Man 2 world is not a world in which he wants to be known as the director of Iron Men, and he will not be directing the next film in the franchise. Vulture first reported the news, claiming Favreau was "frustrated" with Marvel's insistence that the next film be a clusterfuck action figure parade, and now the director has taken to Twitter to confirm:
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.
Favreau didn't take long to turn this into a PR opportunity, either. He's already given the LA Times an interview on the matter that mostly serves to smooth things over with Marvel and talk up how inspired he is to make that Magic Kingdom movie. Now that's the kind of commercial clusterfuck he can be proud of being a part of, apparently:
Favreau spoke in reverent terms of the legacy of Walt Disney and made it clear that his departure from Marvel is no snap decision or the result of fractured relations. 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.”
"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."
“Marvel and I both came of age together,” Favreau said. “The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] 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.
Oh, Kevin Feige has a firm grasp on it now? How reassuring! Even though it's sort of a direct contradiction to what Favreau said last week, when he told MTV:
"This whole [Marvel] world... I have no idea what it is. I don't think they do either, from conversations I've had with those guys."
Whups! And isn't it also sort of a contradiction to take issue with Marvel's desire to cram every superhero they could into every film, then take a job directing a film by parent company Disney that, by their own definition, is "Disney's own Avengers--basically just everything that's in the Magic Kingdom shoved into a single film? So you'd think. But instead of addressing that, Favreau decided to tell everyone how much he loves it when TBS airs back-to-back Elf:
“I can’t begin to tell you how fulfilling the perennial nature of ‘Elf’ on television has been for me,” Favreau said.
Don't get too fulfilled, Favsie: I ended up watching the dismal Ben Affleck vehicle Surviving Christmas one-and-a-half times last weekend because that kept showing up on TV, too.