There have been rumors that Jon Favreau was  done with Marvel and Iron Man since, well, Iron Man came out in theaters.  No one has forgotten the uncomfortable and public battle that ensued when Marvel announced Iron Man 2 without Favreau being on board.

But even the wrap of Iron Man 2 didn’t equal a happy ending.  Favreau was reportedly upset that Marvel hijacked its plotline to expand the cinematic universe.  There were even whispers that he and Robert Downey Jr. weren’t on good terms.  Favreau himself began hinting he might not direct Iron Man 3.

Now it all seems to have come to a bitter (if not exactly abrupt) conclusion. According to Vulture,  Favreau is indeed out, and Marvel has begun hunting for a new Iron Man 3 director. Some are whispering that it’s a money issue, but it seems more likely that Favreau is dissatisfied with losing control of a character franchise he helped build. “In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers,” said Favreau to MTV News.  “This whole world … I have no idea what it is. I don’t think they do either, from conversations I’ve had with those guys.”

A long way from the plans of The Mandarin that he outlined to Devin Faraci and CHUD all those months ago.

It’s sad news. Favreau truly cared about the character.  I sat at a roundtable with him. I know he had passion for the character, the fans, and the storyline he was building.  It was an enthusiasm that made a “third tier superhero” like Tony Stark a household name with one film.  He helped build the Marvel universe and brand.  It’s a shame to see it all fall apart in service of a greater and crazier franchise.   

ETA — Favreau confirmed that he and Marvel have parted ways, and that he’ll be directing Magic Kingdom instead of Iron Man 3: