Iron Man star Jon Favreau wouldn't have been too "happy" with an early exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man films and starred as Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) right-hand man Happy Hogan across the trilogy, would go on to become a member of Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) supporting cast in the Spider-Man trilogy. But it almost didn't happen: Favreau had to ask Marvel Studios not to kill his character in 2013's Iron Man 3. Appearing together at the red carpet premiere of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Favreau and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige explained how a note saved Happy's life:
"Since like 2006... it's been a wonderful collaboration and friendship. It's so great to be part of the Spider-Man trilogy now, as well as the Avengers movies," the Iron Man director and Avengers franchise producer said during a live-streamed interview with TikTok.
Added Feige, "I've said this many times, the MCU would not be what it is without Mr. Favreau at all. Obviously Iron Man, obviously everything there, but staying the heart and soul of Happy Hogan is what's really amazing."
In Iron Man 3, the Extremis-powered Jack Taggart (Ashley Hamilton) self-destructs in a fiery blast, the resulting exothermal detonation severely injuring Happy and rendering him comatose.
"There was a little difference in the script than the final movie, which was that Happy died," Feige said. "Jon had a note — that is one of the most important notes he gave us at Marvel — which was, 'What if Happy was severely injured but did not die?'"
"He's not lying! It's true, it's true," Favreau said. "They accommodated it, and I'm so happy I've been a part of this and being able to be there with Tom Holland since the beginning. He's such a pleasure to work with, and [Spider-Man director] Jon Watts, who is incredibly talented, it's just fun to continue this relationship [with Marvel Studios]. It is a big part of my life, and these people are friends and also people I work with."
Favreau reprises his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, now playing exclusively in theaters. Iron Man 3 is available to stream on Disney+.
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