A shocking rumor today comes from IESB.net, whose inside sources tell them that Marvel Studios may turn the reins of 'Iron Man 2' over to a different director.
Fans have been buzzing for weeks about public statements from director Jon Favreau that Marvel has not signed him to return for 'Iron Man 2'. The director of the top-grossing movie so far this year has very graciously dismissed the delays as being due to Marvel's attention being focused on 'Incredible Hulk'.
However, IESB has heard differently. Apparently two anonymous sources, both said to be within Marvel, claim the comic-publisher-turned-movie-studio is playing hardball with Favreau and refusing to afford him his requested salary bump for hitting a grand slam in their first at-bat.
Sources tell them "that the chairman of Marvel Studios David Maisel who has been in charge of negotiating new terms with Favreau is being cheap and not willing to pay a fair directors' fee."
IESB did not have specific figures in hand but claims Favreau's demands for the sequel are "moderate". Further, Maisel allegedly believes that Favreau's involvement is not needed for 'Iron Man 2' to do gangbusters at the box office and therefore they do not need to pay the higher fee.
Marvel's on-record response to this is simply that negotiations are underway.
It's hard to know what to make of anonymously-sourced stories. If true, however, it would indicate astonishingly bad judgement on Marvel's part.
In Comics2Film's opinion, Iron Man was, by no means, an a-list, recognized commodity for Marvel. The reason the movie opened big is because Favreau has been tirelessly handselling the film for the past two years. He's not only reached out to the core Marvel fans, but beyond, showing up at every trade show that would support an appearance.
The reason the movie has shown such tremendous staying power at the box office is due to the fact that Favreau turned in a first rate movie. It was Favreau that fulfilled on such a consistent vision for the movie.
It was Favreau that attracted the A-list cast. Will they happily return? Or would they rally around the director?
The idea that 'Iron Man' would have been the phenomenon that it is, without Favreau is hard to conceive. The sequel definitely needs him on board. Hopefully Marvel will see that and come up with a suitable arrangement.