Next month's release of Captain America: Civil War, which marks the start of Marvel's Phase Three lineup, comes almost exactly eight years after the release of Iron Man, which kicked off Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Later this year, production will begin on Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II, under the direction of Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Today, we have word that one of the filmmakers who helped shape the MCU is coming back into the fold. During a recent interview with Digital Spy, to promote his new movie The Jungle Book, director Jon Favreau revealed that he has signed on to executive produce the two-part Infinity War adventure.
"I'm going to be executive producing the Avengers films with the Russo brothers, which I'm very excited about. I talk to them about it all the time. I've worked both in front of and behind the camera with Marvel and I really love what they're doing right now. It's a really exciting time to be over there. I've seen a rough cut of Civil War and it's fantastic. We're constantly looking for things to do together. And now I'm freed up."
Jon Favreau directed both Iron Man and its 2010 sequel Iron Man 2, while also starring as Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) longtime friend Happy Hogan. While he didn't direct 2013's Iron Man 3, he did return on camera as Happy Hogan in that adventure. The filmmaker admitted that he turned down the Iron Man 3 directing gig because he wanted to explore other projects.
"I'm actually surprised I don't feel that way about The Jungle Book already, but with Iron Man, I'd done two back to back. My time was completely monopolized for those years and I wanted to be allowed to explore other things. Part of the fun of having a successful movie is you get a lot of say on what your next project is. Sometimes you want to leave yourself open to other opportunities instead of another four or five years maybe working on that franchise."
The director is already coming back to direct The Jungle Book 2 for Disney. With a slew of other projects being developed by Marvel, the director was asked if he would consider returning to the Marvel Universe as a director. Unfortunately, he wouldn't give a definitive answer, but it sounds like he's not entirely ruling out a return to the MCU as a director. Here's what he had to say below.
"The question is, do I want to do something else in the superhero genre? I've spent a big chunk of my career working on that already. All new titles are coming out now."
Jon Favreau also served as an executive producer on last year's Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will return on the big screen as Happy Hogan. In Iron Man 3, Happy ended up in a coma after a massive explosion, but we haven't seen the character since then. The Russo Brothers have already teased that Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II will unite the entire MCU, so it's possible he could return on screen as Happy Hogan.