When Jon Favreau bowed out of the "Iron Man" franchise in December, the filmmaker made clear he remained on good terms with Marvel execs and that he'd stay within the studio family as an executive producer on the upcoming superhero all-star flick, "The Avengers."
But with Favreau busy with directorial duties on the alien-Western hybrid "Cowboys & Aliens" and prep work on "Magic Kingdom," his Disney World-set family picture, it remained to be seen how involved he'd be with "Avengers," which kicked off filming in April. Now, as the "Avengers" teaser trailer has leaked (after appearing in the post-credits sequence of "Captain America") and fans have gotten their first look at what director Joss Whedon has done with that collection of superheroes, we're also getting an idea of Favreau's role in the action.
"My involvement is just to be as supportive as I can be. Most of the cast is people that came onboard to work with me on the 'Iron Man' film, so I feel a sense of responsibility to them. I really hope it works out," Favreau told MTV News while promoting "Cowboys & Aliens." "I'm not in the trenches with them and I'm not making creative decisions on their behalf, but I'm completely available and of service."
That's a far cry from how fans might have thought things would play out back in 2008, when Favreau said he'd be open to directing "Avengers." But in October 2009, MTV News broke the news he wouldn't be helming the film, and after "Iron Man 2" hit theaters last year, he ceded directorial duties on that franchise to Shane Black. These days, Favreau said Whedon is a far better choice to direct "Avengers" than he ever would be.
"They have Joss Whedon, who's a very talented guy and is really good with ensembles and really understands the superhero genre better than I do," Favreau explained. "I understand 'Iron Man' very, very well, especially the 'Iron Man' movie and the cast and the characters all built to one thing. But there are other characters that I don't know. Each filmmaker had a different approach to how they went about it — 'Captain America' is coming out, 'Thor.' The combining of all those things is going to be its own thing in and of itself that Joss has embraced and wrote the script. I expect big things."
Check out everything we've got on "The Avengers."