Jon Favreau Returning to 'Iron Man 3' -- as an Actor (Exclusive)

Jon Favreau
<p><em>Iron Man</em> director<strong> Jon Favreau</strong>, who is an executive producer on<em> The Avengers,</em> poses on the red carpet.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/avengers-premiere-red-carpet-interviews-311639" style="color: rgb(225, 26, 31); text-decoration: none; " target="_blank">VIDEO: &#39;The Avengers&#39; Premiere Red Carpet Interviews</a>&nbsp;</strong></p>
The director of the first two Iron Man movies closed a deal to reprise his role of Happy Hogan, the bodyguard-sidekick to Tony Stark/Iron Man

Jon Favreau isn't directing Iron Man 3, but he'll be present on the set.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Favreau has closed a deal to reprise his role of Happy Hogan -- the bodyguard-sidekick to Tony Stark/Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. -- in the Marvel Studios threequel.

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The movie began shooting Wednesday in North Carolina under the direction of Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). It's the first production for Marvel in the aftermath of the billion-dollar success of The Avengers.

Iron Man 3 will feature returning co-star Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and a slew of newcomers: Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale and Ashley Hamilton.

Favreau directed the first two Iron Man movies; he appeared as Hogan in a cameo in the first movie and played an expanded part in Iron Man 2.

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It is unclear how big the role is in the third movie, but having Favreau return as Hogan seems like a sign of solidarity on Favreau and Marvel’s part and an endorsement of Black.

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @Borys_Kit