As of today according to Box Office Mojo, Iron Man 2 has made over $522 million dollars worldwide. I didn't really like the first Iron Man and didn't really care all that much to see the sequel. In many ways, the Iron Man franchise is starting to look like the Batman and Spider-Man franchises.
Jon Favreau, who directed the original Iron Man and it's sequel, is willing apparently to do a sequel to the second film. The problem, which is complicated on a super geek kind of level, is that Favreau would have to include a bunch of other Marvel characters into the narrative of the next Iron Man film because of another film that is going to be made before Iron Man 3 starts production.
What film you ask? The Avengers.
For those that are comic book nerds, The Avengers is the ultimate team within the Marvel Universe. Wolverine is in The Avengers. So is Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and also The Hulk from what I understand. Marvel's plan in general would be to make origin movies of these characters and then go about making the Avengers movie.
Iron Man 3, which is set to be released in 2013, will have to somehow tie not only into the Avengers film, but all of the other films for the other Marvel characters being made before the third film Iron Man is finished.
Favreau, who sat down with Superhero Hype recently to discuss his upcoming project Cowboys and Aliens, elaborated better than anyone else could his situation when it comes to directing the next Iron Man:
"They've asked me to be an Executive Producer on 'The Avengers' so I'll be there to help as much as the director would want me to. 'Iron Man 3' is years down the road, and that has to reflect the reality of what's been established not just in 'Iron Man 1 and 2,' but in movie time, between this film and that film, is 'The Incredible Hulk,' 'Thor,' 'Captain America,' and 'The Avengers.' I haven't had to inherit anybody else's backstory yet--it's just simply what we chose to use or not use from the comic books--so I'm feeling like I'm passing the baton and after all those movies are done, it's time to sit down and discuss if there's something I can bring to it, if it's something we want to do together, but that's way down the road."
Despite my problems with the first Iron Man and not seeing the second, I think Jon Favreau deserves the success he's acquired recently. Given that he's proven he's box office gold, I think Jon should extend his legacy beyond the Iron Man franchise from a creative standpoint. The direction that Marvel is going, jumbling all of these major characters together for one movie and putting them in each other's films, would be a bit of a headache for Favreau.
Spider-Man 3 and Batman and Robin suffered from adding too much without much a story to make it work, they are the cancers of their respective franchises. Favreau, despite what I think, has gained considerable favor with the Iron Man fanbase and probably wishes to respect the character without making him a background story in his own film. If Marvel wishes him to make the third Iron Man like a really bad Microsoft Frontpage template, he should leave and search for other opportunities where he's not mandated to do anything.
If he chooses to stick to directing franchise films, he should pick a franchise where liberties can be taken and the company that owns the franchise isn't so to the letter about how they want their presentation. From the looks of things, Cowboys and Aliens sounds like a good choice for him.
I know some folks are going to abandon the Iron Man franchise if Favreau leaves. On the other hand, it's not hard to think that a possible disaster in the Iron Man story is on the horizon.
Sail on Jon, you don't need that kind of headache.