Despite the success he had in making the first two movies, director Jon Favreau has decided not to return to direct the third installment in the Iron Man franchise, which already has a release date set for the 3rd of May 2013. At the moment, it is unclear as to why Favreau has decided not to return, possibly due to disagreements between him and Marvel over how much he should be paid to continue.

But Favreau made a comment a couple of weeks ago which hints at more creative differences between the director and the studio, as Favreau made clear it wasn’t comfortable with how Marvel are stuffing more than one hero into their films, effectively branding their movies. “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.” From this, it seems clear that Favreau was not happy with the discussions he was having with Marvel about what direction Iron Man was going to take.

Marvel will no doubt be on the search for a replacement director, but could Favreau’s decision to leave the film also affect the return of Robert Downey Jnr. for the lead role of Tony Stark? Downey Jnr. and Favreau had an excellent working relationship on the first two movies and Favreau was one of the main men that supported Downey Jnr.’s casting from the start. Now that he has left, Downey Jnr. may choose not to return, it will all depend on how he finds working with a different director on The Avengers. Either way, he will probably have a lot of say on who will replace Favreau. Stay tuned!