Welp, this isn’t the best news to hear. Apparently Jon Favreau will not be directing the second sequel to Iron Man, Marvel’s billion dollar franchise that has opened up the larger superhero filled cinematic universe for the company. There isn’t any official word on the reason behind Favreau’s departure but one would imagine that Marvel's attempt to pack everything it can into every movie they make (like Iron Man 2’s fifty billion subplots) could be a factor. As Vulture points out, Favreau’s compensation could very well be the culprit, as he and Robert Downey Jr account for a hefty chunk of the franchises profits (not counting their up front salaries).
No word on who shall replace Favreau, but RDJ does have final approval on whoever the studio chooses. It’s really unfortunate to see Favreau leave the franchise that launched him into A-list directing circles, but if they can’t afford him - oh who am I kidding, Disney is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, they can afford to shill out a few more million to get THE high quality director best suited for the job. And if Favreau stepped away for creative differences then good for him. Glad to see him want to make a good film rather than accept another paycheck and have his name attached to another worthless sequel.
But who knows. Filming doesn’t start until 2012, maybe Favreau and Marvel will make nice.