Once upon a time, Jon Favreau was just a little-known indie screenwriter/actor struggling to make a movie about swing dancing - a craze that surely would never die. Now it's decades later, and while bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are but a distant memory in the public consciousness, Jon Favreau has gone on to earn a name for himself as a director of major blockbuster movies.
It's possible that the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it would not exist without Favreau. While now we take it for granted that Robert Downey, Jr. as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark is a winning combination, that was not necessarily a given before Favreau brought the idea to fruition in the first Iron Man movie. That movie kicked off the entire MCU to follow, generating a whole lot of money for Marvel and its parent company Disney. Favreau left the MCU director's chair behind after Iron Man 2, but that was not the end for his involvement with Marvel.
Recently it was announced that Jon Favreau would executive produce Avengers: Infinity War, a move that is unsurprising given that he also produced Iron Man 3 as well as Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He may be returning to Marvel in a more creative capacity as well, though, according to comments he recently made to IGN. Favreau started out praising the work being done by other directors for the MCU, singling out James Gunn's work with Guardians of the Galaxy in particular:
"I feel like I’ve made my mark; whatever we did in those early days has continued and is in good hands with new filmmakers with fresh voices. I think they’re hiring the right kinds of filmmakers – I couldn’t be more impressed with [Captain America: Civil War], and Guardians of the Galaxy I thought was an unexpected, delightful film."
While he has been impressed by the work other directors have done for Marvel, Favreau also says that he has been in ongoing talks with Marvel to contribute more to the MCU himself. The biggest roadblock to doing so might just be getting re-acquainted with its continuity:
"I just think how I fit in now might be different. It’s 10 years later, and now I’m more of an elder statesman. But we talk a lot about how I could be involved there and I exist both in front of and behind the camera in the Marvel universe, which puts me in a unique position which I enjoy. We’re always trying to figure out if there’s a way for me to contribute beyond just being an executive producer there. I wouldn’t be surprised if something pops up soon, but there’s no one property that we’re identifying that I’d want to helm up and shoulder. Because now that the universe has gotten so big over there, I don’t know that I understand how it all fits together anymore. I was there in the early days when the universe was very small. Now the universe is very big there and they seem to have it well in hand."
With Favreau coming off a big success with his adaptation of The Jungle Book, Disney is no doubt eager to keep him in the fold so he can keep making movies that rake in box office cash for them. With Downey saying that he might have one more Iron Man movie in him, that could be a prime opportunity for Favreau to return to the franchise he helped establish. The director has at least one other project in mind for Disney with Magic Kingdom, so the timing for another Marvel movie would have to be right, but at least it is not outside the realm of possibility.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.