It's news we've expected for awhile, especially amid the rumors of Jon Favreau's unhappiness with the way 'Iron Man 2' was haphazardly thrown together. Vulture reports (and Deadline has further confirmed) via sources that Jon Favreau informed Marvel last night that he would not be taking on the 'Iron Man 3' directing job. There's no official statement as of yet -- and even if there was one (or is one), expect it to include the words "creative differences," or blame Favreau's busy schedule (he's about to start work on Disney's 'Magic Kingdom' right after he's done with 'Cowboys and Aliens').

Vulture is claiming that Favreau's higher salary demands may have been part of the problem, especially since Marvel is all about cutting costs where they can. And while Favreau may have come somewhat cheaply for both 'Iron Man' and 'Iron Man 2', he's blown up since then and he'll demand a lot more than they'll probably want to pay. So consider all of these (and the fact that Marvel is making too many demands, storywise, as they continue to weave their characters together across multiple films) as potential reasons why he won't be returning to the franchise.

Be that as it may (and assuming Vulture's sources are correct), now we need to move on and find a new director to continue the franchise. Obviously Marvel's current crop of directors will be looked at first since they're already playing in the same superhero league. Those include Louis Leterrier ('The Incredible Hulk'), Kenneth Branaugh ('Thor'), Joe Johnston ('Captain America') and Joss Whedon ('The Avengers').

But once they expand their search, which directors do you feel they should look at first? And will the 'Iron Man' franchise suffer without Jon Favreau at the helm? 'Iron Man 3' hits theaters on May 3rd, 2013. Sound off below...