During an interview with Access Hollywood (embedded below), filmmaker and actor Jon Favreau said that directing big, franchise films--and then eventually having to pass them off to someone else--is a bit like directing TV series, where a filmmaker can find himself relegated to the role of audience on a show the week after he directs his episode.
"When you first walk onto the set, it is strange to see all my friends and my cast members there. But Shane [Black] is someone who I've known for a while and Robert [Downey Jr.] knows for a very long time and I've done two, back-to-back," said Favreau during the video interview. "But I have to say, I've had so much fun and Shane's doing such a fantastic job. And I'm sort of getting used to the idea, having watched Robert onscreen in The Avengers and having just been an executive producer on that, not directing. I've become comfortable with it. Actually it was good set-up and preparation for Revolution because now I'm watching dallies of scenes directed by other directors with the same characters that I just worked with. So, I think that's part of what it means to be a filmmaker now. Whether you're dealing with pilots or franchises, the biggest contribution is when you come in and discover that cast, you find the right pitch for the show and then you create the world and hopefully other creative people can come in and build upon that. That's been very rewarding, so it's more like being a proud grandfather where you get to play with the baby but you don't have to change the diapers."
Favreau's role may be even further relegated after the third film, with rumors swirling that his character, Happy Hogan, may not be returning beyond Iron Man 3. That film is due in theaters May 4.