Did Marvel really snub Jon Favreau as director of The Avengers?

We weren't crazy about Iron Man 2, and now rumor has it Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. weren't either. A new report from Cinemablend says Favreau wanted to direct The Avengers as a do-over... but Marvel said no.

Favreau's Iron Man remains one of the few truly great superhero movies, so it's sad to read Cinemablend's report, based on an inside source they say has proven reliable in the past. According to this source, Iron Man 2 wasn't the movie that Favreau wanted to make, and he felt it was rushed into production without a decent script. (With only two years between Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and Favreau having complained publicly about the haste in the past, this part sound plausible.)

Cinemablend's source also says Marvel interfered excessively with Favreau's work on the movie, and "turned the project into an infomercial for The Avengers." And Favreau is unlikely to be back for Iron Man 3, both because of this bad experience and because Marvel won't want to pay him what he wants to be paid a second time. The source also claims Robert Downey Jr. saw the same problems, and while he's already locked in for Iron Man 3 and he'll have star billing in The Avengers, he probably won't be back after that.

As for The Avengers, the source claims:

Favreau really wanted to direct The Avengers but Marvel didn't want to pay for him. Their negotiations with Favreau to secure him as the director of Iron Man 2 were difficult and Favreau worked out a deal that got him paid more money. Marvel wasn't willing to pay that kind of money again when it came time for The Avengers, and so even though Favs wanted to direct their superhero team-up movie, they didn't want him. Instead Marvel has made it a point to seek out cheaper talent to direct all of their subsequent movies. Joss Whedon was hired to direct The Avengers and while he's a mega-talented director he's also a much cheaper hire than someone like Favreau.

Somewhere, the ghost of Jack Kirby is laughing. As with all unsourced internet rumors, you should of course take all of this with a grain of salt. [Cinemablend via Comic Book Movie]