When Marvel’s movie slate was announced on Monday, I wrote a line about Jon Favreau getting back to work on the Iron Man sequel this week. Given the success of the first film and the role he played in making it happen (casting Robert Downey, Jr., more than directing the film) his involvement seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Maybe it isn’t.
Now: before anything else, don’t take this as any statement that Favreau isn’t coming back for the sequel. But Entertainment Weekly has an interview that suggests the directorial chair doesn’t necessarily have Favreau’s name on it yet.
We’ve been speaking informally about it, and 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.
The elephant in the room could be the Demon In A Bottle storyline, which follows Tony Stark’s bout with alcoholism. Favreau has previously expressed his interest in that direction. Now, however, Marvel’s got a potential family franchise on their hands, and they might be more interested in having shellhead fight the Mandarin than Johnnie Walker.
Downey also spoke to EW, weighing in directly on the subject of Stark’s alcohol problem.
Interestingly, Tony’s Achilles heel isn’t that he boozes too hard and then he winds up becoming an alcoholic in the genesis; his character defect is narcissism. I think there’s a way to capitalize on that, and if you want to use the drinking as a metaphor to that, that’s fine. But in and of itself, I don’t think it’s any more interesting than having a superhero who has cancer. That’s why I think the mythology of these things is cool, because a Gamma Ray means a lot more than a gamma ray, whereas a non-specific urethritis can be only that.
Of course, we’ve already got one acoholic superhero coming this summer, in Hancock. Interestingly, no matter how well that movie does, it could kill Marvel’s willingness to deal with Demon In A Bottle. If Hancock tanks, the obvious read is that the public isn’t interested in that story, but if it does well, Marvel may not want to repeat in 2010 something that was done just two years earlier…at least, not something done by a studio other than them.