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If any filmmaker knows what it’s like to work with Marvel Studios, it’s Jon Favreau. As the director of the first two Iron Man films and a producer on The Avengers, Favreau is well acquainted with the inner workings of the superhero studio, for better and for worse.
Favreau’s also familiar with Edgar Wright, a colleague and friend, and the man who walked away from Ant-Man last month after spending several years developing the project. Given his knowledge of both Wright and Marvel, Favreau opened up to Shortlist.com about the Ant-Man breakup, and where he stands on the matter:
“Edgar’s a dear friend of mine – I was so looking forward to his version of Ant-Man,” he said. “All Edgar’s films have been studio films, it’s not like he’s never made one before. I think he’s been used to a situation where he can have tremendous creative say around his story and casting, and Marvel has built an entire franchise around their style of telling stories. I know both parties well, and I respect his decision to see that he wasn’t going to be fulfilled in the process. That’s all I can really say.”
Favreau also reflected on his own time with Marvel, and what it was that made Iron Man work.
“The model was the Fantastic Four films with Fox. You were expected to spend a certain amount of money that would make you a certain amount of money back as long as the effects are good,” he said. “They wanted to figure out a way to get the movie to audiences for a price. I think by casting Iron Man the way we did, it classed the brand up. It allowed us to bring a certain humorous tone that had been lost from, say, the Bond franchise. With Daniel Craig, those movies gained a harder edge, meaning there was definitely room for a new humorous cad adventurer. That archetype had not been filled in a long time. Through Iron Man, Marvel found its tone and voice, but nothing was expected of it. And then the success came, and then there was pressure to continue that brand, and that’s where it becomes more challenging.”