Jon Favreau joined Redditors this afternoon for an Ask Me Anything, which, according to his twelve-year-old son, is his sole impressive accomplishment. (It’s hard out here for a parent of tweens.) We can’t even really make fun of him, because he’s just so fucking earnest, and we’re so filled with Gen-Y ennui, but he dutifully weighed in on all corners of the Favreau-verse.
On Chef’s indie cred vs big budget blockbusters:
The biggest difference is the budget. The lower the budget, the greater the freedom. I enjoy working on the big budget movies, but the appeal has to be more global. For a film like Chef, the smaller budget allowed me to have complete freedom when it came to the script, where I filmed it, who I cast, and the final cut of the film. I really wanted to depict the culinary world in an accurate way, which required dicey language at times. And I wanted to make sure that the casting reflected what a real kitchen was like. It was really fun to return to the scale of an independent film after starting out in that world at the beginning of my career.
On if he were ever to be approached to direct Star Wars:
Star Wars? I love Star Wars! Who wouldn’t want to direct a Star Wars movie? What, are you kidding me!?
For right now, I’m excited to see what JJ’s come up with, I think he’s the perfect choice and he seems to be making all the right decisions. I will be first in line to see Episode 7.
On casting RDJ as Iron Man:
Yeah. Casting Robert Downey Jr. was a pretty big fight at the time. He was not the obvious choice. And although everybody acknowledged that he was a man of tremendous talent, there was a lot of discussion behind the scenes as to whether or not he had the potential to be a movie star that could carry a Marvel franchise. I was pushing very hard for him, and he fought very hard to get the role. The final factor in him getting cast was a screen test that he did where he blew everybody away, and everyone was in agreement that he was indeed, Tony Stark.
On Ben Affleck as Batman:
Ben is a very smart guy, and a great director. He’s in a position in Hollywood where he has a tremendous amount of freedom when it comes to what projects he wants to pursue. If he has chosen to take on this role, I’m sure he has something really interesting in mind for how he’s going to depict the Caped Crusader. He impresses me more and more each year with how he’s grown creatively, and I am extremely curious to see how that will affect the way that he inhabits the role of an iconic superhero.
On why he hates Paul Rudd so much:
I love Paul Rudd. I can’t get enough Paul Rudd. I ate soup out of Paul Rudd’s mouth, I love him so much. I can’t wait to see Ant Man.
On why he’d never do a horror movie:
When you direct a movie, you really have to immerse yourself in that world for a year or two. I suspect that if I worked on a horror movie, it would affect the energy of my day to day life in a way that I wouldn’t be comfortable with. I love watching a good zombie movie, and I enjoy clever horror, but I don’t think I’m the right guy to explore that genre because I don’t know if I have the stomach for it.
On technology as a plot device:
In my new movie Chef, I try to use Twitter & social media in the same way I used the answering machine in Swingers. It seems that technology, whether it’s an answering machine or YouTube or Twitter, has the potential to make embarrassing moments exponentially worse. It’s a great dramatic tool and could lead to some really fun comedy.
On translating video games to film:
Oooh. Video game adaptations are very tricky, because the basic experience of a video game is much different than a linear film. Clearly there’s wonderful storytelling in video games, and now you can portray video game imagery in a movie very effectively. When you really roll up your sleeves and try to figure out a way to develop a good video game into a movie, it’s surprisingly challenging to transfer the storytelling. There are a lot of films coming out in the upcoming years and I’m looking forward to seeing how other directors have found a way to crack that nut.
You can read more about his stints on Friends and The Sopranos, as well as a slew of answers about Elf here.
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