Yesterday IESB.net broke the news that Marvel might be playing hardball in its negotiations with Jon Favreau regarding 'Iron Man'. The news came from off-record sources that were said to be from within Marvel itself.
Today, Harry Knowles at AIC chimes in, confirming IESB's story. Remember that Knowles has a professional relationship with Favreau, having been a producer on the diretor's attempt to bring 'John Carter: Warlord of Mars' to the big screen.
Writes Knowles, "There is a very very strong chance that unless David Maisel pulls his head out of his ass and work on this deal - you'll see Jon Favreau directing anything but an 'Iron Man 2' or an 'Avengers' movie."
He later continues, "Jon Favreau wants to do more 'Iron Man' movies. He would love to play in the Marvel Universe. Sadly... David Maisel is penny pinching his own company into a malignant purplenurple."
Like IESB, Knowles is not at liberty to name his sources, but adds, "When I brought this up with [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin Feige at the Austin screening of 'The Incredible Hulk' - he said they would be working with Favreau - but that isn't what I've heard from other sources - and it isn't what IESB is hearing either."
On the other hand, the notorious Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood has a different take on things.
"I learned this morning that Marvel Studios boss David Maisel very recently put out an offer to Jon Favreau to direct the sequel and that the offer is 'definitely' richer than what the helmer received for the original. Even so, the negotiation has only just begun. So all that Internet blather about how Marvel doesn't want to bring back Favreau because the studio is lowballing him is just b.s. As an insider told me, 'They're not paying him the same wage. They're definitely paying him a higher fee to direct this one. What, do people think Marvel is stupid? Of course, the movie was successful, so they're offering him more.'"
IESB also updates the story on their end, taking issue with Finke's report while in a strange way also confirming it.
"Literally, three hours after we posted the article, my Marvel sources came back saying there was some movement within the studio to reach out to Favreau immediately."
So was this a tempest in a teapot? Was Marvel slow to move, as Favreau himself has suggested, due to their focus on 'The Incredible Hulk', thus creating the illusion of a hardball negotiation. Or did they bend after hearing the outcry of the fans in reaction to IESB's report?
Either way, fingers crossed that Favreau and Marvel strike a deal and continue the 'Iron Man' powerhouse.