You can put your pitchforks and online petitions down - it's looking increasingly likely that Jon Favreau and Marvel Studios have patched up their differences (read: arguments over money) and that Favreau will, in fact, be directing Iron Man 2 for the planned 2010 release date. While details about the make-up are still sketchy, here's a possible reason why it's happened: To get Favreau to stop spoiling future Marvel movies, already. Very minor Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man 2 spoilers under the jump.
As Charlie mentioned in passing yesterday, Favreau was talking about Iron Man 2 at the premiere of Hellboy II this weekend, and he seemed positive that he and Marvel have worked out their tiff:
It's gonna work out, I have a feeling... They're working it all out. We're actively engaged... I would be involved in the other properties in some capacity, but Iron Man 2 is the one that needs [my] day-in, day-out care and attention.
While it's probably the promise of a large paycheck that's brought Favreau back on-board after the seeming stand-off between director and studio about the rush-release schedule of the sequel, it's very possible that he held the largest bargaining chip in the negotiations: He knew what Marvel was planning for their other movies, and he's more than willing to share. He's already spoiled the reveal of the line-up for the movie Avengers, given away that Captain America: The First Avenger is a "period piece" while talking to IESB, and
happily told fans who the bad guy is in the next Iron Man movie ("The Mandarin is Iron Man's nemesis and will be incorporated in the sequel," being the exact quote. Yeah, we all expected it, but still). Who knows what else he could've ruined had an arrangement not been made?