Jon Favreau Explains His Decision To Not Direct 'Iron Man 3'

Tuesday's most polarizing piece of news was the fact that Jon Favreau would not be directing Iron Man 3. On his Twitter, Favreau said "It's true, I'm directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best."

But Twitter can only say so much. The man behind the first two Iron Man films, Elf, the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens and my favorite movie of all time, Swingers, sat down with the Los Angeles Times to explain in more than 140 characters why he's leaving Tony Stark behind and what his plans are for Magic Kingdom.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times writer Geoff Boucher, Favreau said the rumored reasons why he's leaving Iron Man, such as money issues or lack of cohesiveness, where inaccurate. He's still a producer on The Avengers and remains friendly with Marvel main man Kevin Feige. His main reason for leaving was to "find something that lights a fire" inside of him and also something that will "blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations." So, basically, he wants some new toys to play with. He thinks of the departure as more of a "graduation" rather than "divorce."

Marvel and I both came of age together. The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in.... 'Iron Man' has given me tremendous opportunities and Kevin and I are enjoying a lot of momentum in our careers thanks to the 'Iron Man' films. I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world.

Favreau has found a project that not only fills his creative needs but also a lifelong dream with the upcoming film, Magic Kingdom.

Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to. Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams  and made a deep impression on me as a child. When I first heard about the ['Magic Kingdom' film] project, I was on my way to visit Disneyland with my family. I took notes and had no problem filling a book with all the ideas that this concept offered, even on first blush. Since then, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Imagineering by Tony Baxter, who knows just about everything there is to know about Disneyland. He pulled original concept art from the archives for me and exposed me to Walt's original vision.

One of his paramount worries at the moment is to figure out how the film will be different from Night at the Museum, Who Framed Roger Rabbit or the new game Epic Mickey, which all share similar story elements to the film.

It can't just be like the Christmas parade with all the Disney characters going by.

No one can fault Favreau for getting kind of burnt out on the same characters, same stories, and also the heightened expectations of a franchise everyone has become familiar with. It makes sense. And with a project that he's obviously so passionate about all ready to go once Cowboys & Aliens comes out in the summer, it seems like he knows exactly what he's doing.