Iron Man 2: Will Jon Favreau Return For The Sequel?

Marvel has announced that Iron Man 2 will hit theaters on April 30th 2010. All the stars (including Robert Downey Jr, Terrance Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow) had standard three-picture deal stipulations worked into their respective contracts, and are basically nailed down for the sequel. But what about director Jon Favreau? He didn't even know about a sequel until Marvel announced it yesterday. And while he would love to return for a sequel, it isn't yet a done deal.

"We've been speaking informally about it," Favreau told EW. "In concept we would all love to work together again. But I found out about the announcement last night, so it's not something that – we would definitely love to collaborate more with the sequel. There's no formal arrangement yet, but in theory we would all love to see it happen.... There's definitely a lot of ideas that we all have now. This type of movie is based on serialized materials, so it lends itself very easily to [many different sequel possibilities]. There's definitely a level of enthusiasm from myself and the cast to tell more stories."

I think most people would agree that Favreau's participation was essential to Iron Man's success. Heck, it's the best reviewed comic book movie of all time, and Farveau set the perfect tone. But it sounds like there is some disagreement as to what Iron Man will do Demon in a bottle

next, and how much Marvel wants Favreau involved. In past interviews, Jon has expressed interest in tackling the Demon in a Bottle storyline which involved Stark coming face to face with his own demons (alcoholism). Not quite the family friendly direction Marvel seems to be headed.

"Demon in a Bottle is one of the very strongest story lines of the of the series, and Iron Man is not a comic book character who is known for having wonderful storylines. He's known for having great suits, great characters, but the villains kind of get thin at times, and it's so very dated when you look at Communism and the metaphor. Politically, much of it doesn't hold up well. And the Mandarin is incredibly challenging in that respect. So we have challenges ahead of us. Demon in a Bottle tends to be one that, from a storytelling perspective, is compelling to all of us.

But at the end of the day, Favreau praises Marvel for green-lighting a movie based on The Avengers (due in July 2011), a franchise that Favreau consciously set-up in Iron man, instead of making a less superior third Iron Man film.

"I think it would be a very smart third film in the Iron Man series. It's very difficult to keep these franchises from running out of gas after two [movies]. The high point seems to be the second one, judging by history: If you just look at the consensus in the reviews, you see that X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2 are sort of seen by the fans as the sort of high point of both franchises, though I don't necessarily agree with that. But to be able to fold it into an Avengers is something you just couldn't do in another studio, and I think what Marvel is about is stuff you can't do at a bigger studio. They gave me tremendous creative freedom; they gave me tremendous freedom in casting, at the end of the day. Even though there was concern, they ultimately backed a decision [to hire Downey to play Tony Stark] that I don't think a studio would've, and now they're benefiting from having that nimble creative team. And that's, honestly, the most attractive aspect of working with them again."

Discuss: Would you watch Iron Man 2 if Jon Farveau isn't a part of it?