What we know about the project Jon Favreau ditched Iron Man for

As we reported yesterday, Jon Favreau won't be directing Iron Man 3, but it doesn't mean he's joining the unemployment line. Instead, he'll be directing the movie Magic Kingdom for Disney.

The two Iron Man movies have earned $1.2 billion, and it seems kind of, well, odd that Favreau would eschew a blockbuster sequel—with characters he helped nurture in two previous movies—in favor of Magic Kingdom. In fact, we envisioned a shadowy conspiracy, where Marvel decided behind closed doors that they wanted a less expensive, more easily influenced director.

But an article in the L.A. Times contests this:

Favreau spoke in reverent terms of the legacy of Walt Disney and made it clear that his departure from Marvel is no snap decision or the result of fractured relations. The main impulse was to "find something that lights a fire" inside of him as a filmmaker and gives him a chance to "blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations."

Magic Kingdom is already being compared to A Night at the Museum for its cast of thousands (or at least dozens). However, instead of real-world figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart, Magic Kingdom will feature the Disney roster.

And if the rumors are true, the movie will star Mickey Mouse.

The 82-year-old mouse has recently been starring in video games and, prior to that, television. But he hasn't made a big-screen appearance since the 1995 theatrical cartoon Runaway Brain.

It's apparent that the fire Favreau needs to spark his creative energy has been lit. His interview spoke of nothing but enthusiasm about working directly for Disney.

As Disney owns Marvel, perhaps he wasn't edged out of Iron Man 3 after all. Perhaps he was just trading up.

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