Update: Harry Knowles over at Ain't It Cool has verified this story through his sources. I was worried that my initial reaction may have been a bit premature, but I stand by what I said more than ever now. I completely understand that a director is only one part of what makes a good movie, but I firmly believe that Mr. Favreau has more than a little bit to do with the fact that Iron Man is no longer the b-list hero he's been for a long time. That's why I'm standing this firmly behind him.
In what is potentially a repeat of the X-Men 3 debacle, First Showing is reporting thatMarvel is saying that Iron Man director Jon Favreau is not necessary for Iron Man 2 to be financially successful. It seems to be a veiled attempt to lowball Favreau before they even give him a second call after Iron Man's stellar box office numbers. It's also possible that Marvel is attempting a power play in response to Favreau saying he isn't sure that Iron Man 2 could be ready by 2010.
I am absolutely willing to go on record and say that should Marvel go down this road of killing the golden goose before it lays more than one egg, I will absolutely boycott Iron Man 2 and will possibly cease all coverage of Iron Man 2. This is specifically if Favreau were not brought back for the next movie. I truly feel this strongly about the topic. Jon Favreau brought a lot of the heart that made people love the first movie, and I worry that a Favreau-less Iron Man would be as bad (if not worse) than X-Men 3.