In baseball, the "Iron Man" record is held by Cal Ripken, Jr. at 2,632 consecutive games. Though the Iron Man film record is currently held by director Jon Favreau, it looks like the number to beat is going to hold at something a little bit smaller.
Vulture broke the news just hours ago and it has since been confirmed by SHH: Favreau told Marvel Studios this morning that he will not be returning for a third film.
Does that mean it's still too soon to start speculating on who should take over for Iron Man 3? Of course not, this is the internet! Here's SuperHeroHype and CraveOnline's top five choices for a new Iron Man director:
5. Gore Verbinski
No stranger to the House of Mouse, Verbinski delivered one of the studio's biggest successes with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Likewise, he's got a similar pedigree to Favreau, countering the smart kiddie fare of Elf and Zathura with Mouse Hunt and the upcoming Rango. Probably Disney's most bankable option, Marvel Studios is meanwhile famous for lowballing its directors (which almost caused Favreau to walk away from Iron Man 2) and that's probably not something you pull with Verbinksi's CV.
4. Andrew Stanton
Another choice with the Disney seal of approval, Stanton's WALL•E mixed CGI metal with drama like nobody's business. Currently hard at work on Disney's John Carter of Mars (which was also once a Marvel comic book series), Stanton is theoretically set by now for live action blockbuster filmmaking and has the technical know-how to deliver something FX heavy that doesn't sacrifice any humanity.
3. Shane Black
Black revitalized Robert Downey Jr.'s career for a lot of fans with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (even if the film failed to make a smash at the box office). What's more, Black consulted on the script for the first Iron Man film and was the one who suggested Downey for the role. An expert at capturing the wry wit that makes Downey's Tony Stark so memorable, Black's downfall as a selection comes in having only the one underperforming directing credit to his name. Still, Black is a pretty accomplished writer and that's arguably what got Joss Whedon aboard The Avengers.
Click here to read the rest of the list over at CraveOnline!