Taking a step away from flashy superhero flicks and raucous comedies, actor/director Jon Favreau is premiering his latest film, the indie feature Chef, at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. After the stress of Iron Man 2, and ultimately choosing not to return to direct Iron Man 3 – plus the frustration of Cowboys & Aliens being yet another forgettable comic book movie – Favreau’s Chef looks like it could be a breath of fresh air for audiences and Favreau alike.
After a failed restaurant opening in L.A, celebrated chef, Carl Casper (Favreau), travels back to his native Miami where he opens a food truck. Chef sees Casper reinvigorate his career, rediscover his creativity, and begin reconnecting with his estranged family, all while working at the food truck dubbed El Jefe Cubanos. In this first image from Chef, Favreau’s Casper is joined by another of the film’s star, John Leguizamo, as the two work the truck.
Check out the image below:
Starring alongside Favreau and Lequizamo are Iron Man 2‘s Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) as Casper’s wife. With such a familiar cast – Chef is the third time Favreau has directed RDJ, and the fourth time they’ll have acted together onscreen – there’s a good likelihood their performances will be the driving force of the film. And unlike his recent work, Chef has Favreau wearing all the hats: writer, director, producer, and star, making Chef his most personal project yet.
It isn’t a stretch to see the similarities between a chef who makes it big only to later face failure and a breakout director who grew frustrated with the limited control he had manufacturing Hollywood blockbusters. Chef could prove especially cathartic for Favreau, who likely felt burnt out after back-to-back comic book films that were mercilessly nitpicked by critics and fanatics alike. So much so that the chances are good we’ll see Favreau return to directing material not his own and under the umbrella of a major corporation sooner rather than later.
On his agenda next is the live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Disney, and it’s incredibly likely Favreau would produce and reprise Happy Hogan for Iron Man 4, if not direct (that is, if a fourth film happens). It’s doubtful Favreau has any intention of swearing off the mainstream, big-budget movies in favor of only working on indie, festival circuit darlings, but he definitely enjoys working in both spheres.
Jon Favreau‘s Chef premieres at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, kicking off the festival March 7th, 2014. The official release date is May 9th.