Jon recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly for a little interview after the success of Iron Man. Here are the Cliff notes:
Will you be involved with the sequel?
We've been speaking informally about it, and in concept we would all love to work together again. But I found out about the announcement last night, so it's not something that - we would definitely love to collaborate more with the sequel. There's no formal arrangement yet, but in theory we would all love to see it happen.... There's definitely a lot of ideas that we all have now. This type of movie is based on serialized materials, so it lends itself very easily to [many different sequel possibilities]. There's definitely a level of enthusiasm from myself and the cast to tell more stories.
You said you were consciously teeing up the Avengers?
Yeah. I think it would be a very smart third film in the Iron Man series. It's very difficult to keep these franchises from running out of gas after two [movies]. The high point seems to be the second one, judging by history: If you just look at the consensus in the reviews, you see that X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2 are sort of seen by the fans as the sort of high point of both franchises, though I don't necessarily agree with that. But to be able to fold it into an Avengers is something you just couldn't do in another studio, and I think what Marvel is about is stuff you can't do at a bigger studio. They gave me tremendous creative freedom; they gave me tremendous freedom in casting, at the end of the day. Even though there was concern, they ultimately backed a decision [to hire Downey to play Tony Stark] that I don't think a studio would've, and now they're benefiting from having that nimble creative team. And that's, honestly, the most attractive aspect of working with them again.
I really hope Jon comes back for the next couple of movies. He is the main reason it blew up the way it did. I love how he points out that Marvel allowed him the creative freedom that a major studio would have never allowed. Studio Exec's tend to hold the creative people back. This ultimately causes a movie to suck, which is why there are a lot of sucky movies coming out.