<p>Jon Favreau directs Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle on the set of Iron Man 2</p>

Jon Favreau directs Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle on the set of Iron Man 2

Credit: Parmount Pictures/Marvel Studios

Confirmed: Jon Favreau won't return for 'Iron Man 3'

Question is: Who broke up with whom?

Jon Favreau, who's recently been making making the rounds with his work in progress, the stand-alone sci-fi-in-a-western "Cowboys and Aliens" has informed Marvel Studios/Disney that he won't be back to direct a third installment of "Iron Man." Vulture reports that insiders say Favreau has been frustrated with the direction that marvel wanted to go for the film, insisting that it tie in with other Marvel titles such as "Thor" "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Avengers." The Director told MTV News recently that the production company's concepts of the film version of the Marvel Universe were not very clear to him, saying "This whole world… I have no idea what it is. I don't think they do either.."

Still others speculate that Favreau's growing price tag may have been the cause for the split, and that Disney/Marvel was looking to contain their costs and wouldn't mind a less expensive director at the helm. Star Robert Downey Jr. Does have Director approval, however, and may complicate things. As of now the project is slated to go ahead no matter who's directing and hit theaters on May 3rd of 2013, necessitating a shooting start date of early 2012 if not before.

Favreau confirmed this news thought his twitter account (@Jon_Favreau) saying "It's true, I'm directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best." Meaning that he's definitely not breaking up with Disney any time soon, as "Magic Kingdom," is a Disney movie that takes place in Disneyland.

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<p>Rango loves his Mr. Timms, and I'm betting so will audiences when 'Rango' is released in March</p>

Rango loves his Mr. Timms, and I'm betting so will audiences when 'Rango' is released in March

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Watch: New 'Rango' trailer sells the comedy and the story even more

Johnny Depp is the perfect man to play this frantic lizard, evidently

There's a distinct possibility that the first film my younger son Allen sees in the theater will be Gore Verbinski's "Rango."

For one thing, it comes out on his third birthday.  That's convenient.  That wouldn't matter, except he's obsessed with the first trailer for the movie.  And I have to agree with him that it's one of the more arresting, interesting movie trailers I've seen in a while.  Visually, the film is unusual and striking and you almost need to see the trailer a few times just to get a handle on what you're looking at.  But it's the comedy that he's smitten with, and he'll act the trailer out every time.  He walks into my office, gives me a solemn, "Dad, play the lizard and the bird," and then plop himself onto my knee, waiting.

Every single time through, he would pretend to be a cactus when Rango would pretend to be a cactus, and then giggle like he was being tickled.  I love seeing him fall for something, openly adore something like that.  And it makes me love "Rango" right away.

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<p>Seth Rogen and Jay Chou prove to be a winning combination in Michel Gondry's fast and funny 'The Green Hornet'</p>

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou prove to be a winning combination in Michel Gondry's fast and funny 'The Green Hornet'

Credit: Sony Pictures Worldwide

Review: BNAT 12 features early looks at 'Rango,' 'Cowboys and Aliens,' 'Green Hornet' and more

From short glimpses to full features with a side trip for IMAX, fest delivers on the sneaks

AUSTIN, TX - With programming ranging from a short look at one scene from Gore Verbinski's psychedelic animated Western "Rango" to an extended 40-minute sneak of "Cowboys and Aliens" to the full-length premiere screenings of "True Grit," "The Fighter," "TRON: Legacy," and "The Green Hornet," this year's Butt-Numb-A-Thon was packed with sneak preview material.

It's hard to believe it's been 12 years now that Ain't It Cool News and the Alamo Drafthouse have been throwing this annual birthday party/nerd extravaganza for Harry Knowles.  I still remember the original late night phone calls with Harry talking about his dreams for the thing.  Originally, the idea was that you'd pay a low price of $25 to get in, but as the 24 hours wore on, the programming would become intentionally more punishing, and anyone who wanted out early had to pay, and the earlier you left, the more it would cost.  The original poster for the first festival played into the idea that once we locked those doors, you were in for a wild ride programmed by a dangerous crazy person.  Very quickly, though, BNAT developed into a very special event, a combination of very personal vintage programming, practical jokes, endurance tests, and, yes, sneak premieres of some of the biggest films of the year.

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Watch: Michael Sheen and Beau Garrett talk 'Tron: Legacy'

Watch: Michael Sheen and Beau Garrett talk 'Tron: Legacy'

Both approaches to roles as 'programs' as different as their characters

When we last spoke to Michael Sheen at at Comic Con in July, not a lot was known about his character Castor, nor exactly how he fit into the story of the film. But Mr. Sheen spoke so enthusiastically about the project, it was obvious that he was a "Tron nerd." He spoke of keeping his "11 year old self" happy by doing the film.

Cut to half a year later and his enthusiasm is in no way muted. Sitting down with his beautiful costar, Beau Garrett, we find that Sheen was highly involved in the development of his character and his look. "It was great to be a part of that and influence the direction the character went" says sheen.

Beau Garrett, on the other hand, stepped onto a much more wholly formed concept in her part as the siren Gem. "It was an idea Joe (director Joseph Kosinski) had had for a long time. I sort of got to jump into something that was already created." said the actress.

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<p>Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, and Ian McShane all star in next summer's 'Pirates Of The Caribbean:&nbsp;On Stranger Tides'Wa</p>

Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, and Ian McShane all star in next summer's 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'Wa

Credit: Walt Disney Company

Watch: 'Pirates 4' trailer promises Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, mermaids, zombies, and more

First look at the mega-sequel gives some hint of the film's grand scope

If I had been back from Austin in time this morning, I would have gone to Disneyland to see the crazy party that Disney threw for the premiere of the "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" trailer.  How do I know it was crazy if I wasn't there?  Because it's Disney, and when they want to impress upon you that something of theirs is an event, there's no one who can do it bigger.  And in the case of this particular film, Disney's making one of the biggest bets they've ever made as a studio, and seeing it pay off is of utmost importance.

After all, Gore Verbinski was the director of all three of the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" films, and he's just as much a part of their success as Johnny Depp's work as Captain Jack Sparrow is.  The films are all, even if you're not crazy about how overstuffed they get, remarkably built pop entertainments.  That sort of stuff doesn't come natural to every filmmaker, and I'm interested to see how Rob Marshall does with the responsibility of transforming this from a trilogy of hugely successful films into an ongoing franchise for the studio.  RIght now, that's still a hypothetical proposition, even if I was able to confirm recently that they're planning to shoot the fifth and sixth films in the series next year in Hawaii.  For now, though, they've got Marshall's name front and center in the trailer for what it's worth, and they're counting on him to figure it out.

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Watch: Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges saddle up in 'True Grit'
Credit: Paramount

Watch: Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges saddle up in 'True Grit'

You can smell the horses in four clips from the Coen bros' Western

You can almost smell the horses in these four clips from the Coen brothers remake of the John Wayne Classic "True Grit." Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld star together as an unlikely posse, in pursuit of a killer played by Josh Brolin.

Jeff Bridges stars as Rooster Cogburn, a character so different from his Kevin Flynn in "Tron Legacy," also in theaters this month, it could make your head spin. Matt Damon is LaBoef, a Texas Ranger and Hailee Steinfeld is Mattie Ross, a stubborn young girl who hires Cogburn to chase down Tom Chaney, the man who killed her father.

Drew had the pleasure of seeing it and reviewing it here and I'm looking forward to seeing it soon, in the meantime, check out the four clips embedded below for a taste of each of these characters and see if you'll want to join the hunt when the movie opens in two weeks.

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<p>Chris Hemsworth plays the title character in one of next summer's most ambitious films, 'Thor,' the latest step towards 'The Avengers' from the folks at Marvel Studios</p>

Chris Hemsworth plays the title character in one of next summer's most ambitious films, 'Thor,' the latest step towards 'The Avengers' from the folks at Marvel Studios

Credit: Marvel Studios

Set Visit: A trip to Asgard for 'Thor' reveals secrets of next May's Marvel movie

Once you've been to the Rainbow Bridge, everything else pales

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA - Standing in the middle of Heimdall's Observatory, with the Rainbow Bridge extending from the front of the room, we need only turn the dials built into the walls and the floor to send ourselves anywhere in the Universe.

Of course, we may have to get past the frozen warrior standing outside first.

When I got the call to join a group of other journalists on the set of the new Marvel Studios movie "Thor," due in theaters next May, I didn't have to think about it.  For one thing, it's not every day you can drive your own car for just over an hour and end up in Asgard.  And for another thing, I was curious to see how Marvel planned to handle one of the trickiest of the steps on the road to "The Avengers," and I'll be the first to admit it… I had my doubts.

After all, it's one thing to make a movie like "Iron Man," or a movie like "The Incredible Hulk," where we see fantastic characters dropped into a world that is very recognizable.  That's a big part of the Marvel Universe in general, and one of the reasons for its enduring appeal.  But with "Thor," you're introducing a whole new world of rules, and you're suddenly stretching the Marvel Universe in a new direction, expanding it to include magic.  I've always liked "Thor" as a comic, but as a film?  It seems like the biggest gamble yet for Marvel Studios.

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<p>Eustace (Will Poulter) finds himself in an unexpected form, and he is given special support by Reepicheep (Simon Pegg) in 'The Chronicles Of Narnia:&nbsp;The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader'</p>

Eustace (Will Poulter) finds himself in an unexpected form, and he is given special support by Reepicheep (Simon Pegg) in 'The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Walden Media

Review: 'Dawn Treader' proves to be the most successful trip to Narnia yet

Third time's a charm, but is it too late for audiences to notice?

Film fantasy has always been tricky, and one of the biggest reasons is because it's tough to make magic feel real, and it's even tougher to make a magical world work onscreen without it feeling like a bunch of special effects.  Growing up, I had to really exercise my suspension of disbelief on the fantasy films I loved, and that's fine.  That was part of the pleasure of those films, handing yourself over to the imperfect illusion, and it seemed like great fantasies were few and far between, so as a young filmgoer, I learned to savor whatever I got and enjoy the things that worked while overlooking the things that didn't.

We live in a remarkable age, though, when the wholesale creation of miracles has become commonplace, and we've gotten to the point where we almost routinely ignore the amazing.  The thing is, when the technical game has been raised for everyone, and the heavy lifting of world-building can be done to such an astonishing degree in film after film, it all comes back to the intangible, the hard-to-define, the genuinely magic, and that is just as rare as it's ever been.

For all the effort involved in the first two films in the "Narnia" franchise, neither film worked completely for me.  I think they are both handsomely made and ambitious and serious-minded enough that I respect the efforts, and there's an admirable loyalty to the work of C.S. Lewis in the adaptations.  The second film improved on the first film in several ways, and one of the things that worked in its favor was the cumulative weight of watching the young cast playing the Pensevie kids grow up between films.  Now, with "The Voyage Of The Dawn Trader," the franchise has managed to deliver its best adventure yet, and I'm curious to see if it ends up being too little too late.

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Watch: Michael Sheen is simply aglow as Castor in 'Tron: Legacy'
Credit: Disney

Watch: Michael Sheen is simply aglow as Castor in 'Tron: Legacy'

The owner of the 'End of Line Club' is also Daft Punk's boss

Tron: Legacy is a faithful follow up to the 1982 Disney classic (cult classic?) It's amazing on the eyes and makes great use of 3D technology to truly create an immersive world. But with "modern" also came "serious" and the film tends to remain on the grim side of things with considerably less humor than the first. One exception to this tone, however is the appearance of Castor, played by Michael Sheen.

In the film, Castor owns the "End of Line" club, and is apparently the man to see if you want to get in touch with Zuse, a powerful rebel fighting against CLU. Sheen has a blast playing the flamboyant club owner, and is one of the few actors in the film that appear to be having fun.

His costume is all glam rock and If you'll notice, this is also the scene where Daft Punk makes their cameo appearance. They were obviously sucked into this universe after playing "Derezzed" in Flynn's Arcade.

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<p>Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp share a waltz but not quite enough charisma in 'The Tourist'</p>

Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp share a waltz but not quite enough charisma in 'The Tourist'

Credit: Sony Pictures Worldwide

Review: Jolie and Depp throw massive charisma at 'The Tourist' and misfire

Pretty people on a silly romp still manages to not quite connect

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie both seem to have approached "The Tourist" with the same intent, and there are stretches of the film that are pure tactile pleasure as a result of the inherent energy that exists between two smart and pretty movie stars with their charisma turned up to "high." 

And make no mistake… "The Tourist" exists solely as a vehicle for an audience to spend a few hours staring at movie stars.  As a film, it's not "about" anything.  There's no depth, no subtext, no greater significance.  It is a piffle, a trifle, a souffle.  For a film like this to work at all, it needs to be lighter than air, pure candy, and there are absolutely moments where "The Tourist" gets all of that right, where everything aligns, and in those moments, it is a reminder of why that sort of thing is enjoyable in the first place.

Unfortunately, the film can't sustain that feeling for the full running time, and all those pesky plot mechanics keep getting in the way.  The film is about a woman, Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie), who is being watched carefully by the Financial Crimes division of England's government.  Why?  She was the lover of a man named Alexander Pearce, a con artist who vanished with hundreds of millions of dollars.  It's been two years, and they've been watching her, waiting for the moment he emerges to contact her so they can swoop in and arrest him.  Paul Bettany plays Inspector Acheson, the man in charge of the case, and he's obsessed with it, and with Elise Ward as well.

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