This isn’t news, per se, as so many people knew it, but now it’s totally official and with a quote and everything: Jon Favreau won’t be directing The Avengers. Sure, he made some noise a while back that he would like to do it, but his schedule is such that it would be completely impossible for him to direct the film in the time that Marvel has allotted for it.

Talking to MTV, Favreau said, “They’ll have to [find a different director], because I’m not
going to be available. It’s something I’m being the executive producer
on, so I’ll definitely have input and a say. It’s going to be hard,
because I was so involved in creating the world of Iron Man and Iron
Man is very much a tech-based hero, and then with ‘Avengers’ you’re
going to be introducing some supernatural aspects because of Thor. How
you mix the two of those works very well in the comic books, but it’s
going to take a lot of thoughtfulness to make that all work and not
blow the reality that we’ve created.”

I like what Favreau has done so far (and I like what I’ve seen of Iron Man 2), but I’m also psyched that the seat is open. Marvel has been ballsy about their director hires, and I would like to see that continue with The Avengers. Assuming Disney allows them their continued autonomy, I think that Marvel might have a surprise or two up their sleeves in regards to who helms The Avengers.

(My vote, by the way, is for Francis Ford Coppola. Totally not kidding)