Jon Favreau has explained how he managed to work on Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, and The Mandalorian at the same time. The actor-filmmaker has played Happy Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the past eleven years, going back to the original Iron Man in 2008. However, over that same period of time, he also directed Iron Man 1 & 2, in addition to the one-off comic book adaptation Cowboys & Aliens and The Jungle Book retelling. He even made time to both star in and helm the 2014 indie comedy Chef, in-between his big budget studio efforts.
Most recently, Favreau has been dividing his time between reprising Happy in Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame, calling the shots on The Lion King remake, and serving as a writer-producer on the first live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian. And since all four projects are being released within the span of six months or so, he's essentially had to work on them all at once. Fortunately, with a little assistance, he was able to do just that.
Screen Rant spoke to Favreau about his busy schedule during our visit to the Far From Home set this past year. Here's what he had to say about working as an actor, showrunner, and director on three separate ventures simultaneously:
So, um, I'm working on Lion King now. Actually, while I'm out, I go over to MPC after work and look at the stuff there. Because they're doing the digital effects here. So we're doing some of the stuff… and then we’re prepping the Star Wars series back in L.A. So actually, with all the time zones, it actually works out well. Although, when you have to be on the set, it's tricky. So one of the producers who's working on both the other projects is with me, so I kind of get corralled around. But the nice part about acting as that I get to just focus on that for when I'm on the set. This is a really fun one, too, and I like to work with [director Jon Watts] again. He's a funny guy.
Based on his comment, timing and convenience of location were the primary factors that allowed Favreau to successful divide his attention between the MCU, Lion King, and the Star Wars franchise over the last year. No doubt, he was also helped by his willingness to delegate certain major tasks to other people. On The Mandalorian, for example, Favreau brought in storytellers like Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) to direct the series, rather than trying to do too much by himself. It seems he was similarly collaborative on The Lion King, which only makes sense. The visual effects heavy project has been in post-production for much of the past twelve months, allowing Favreau to step back a bit and let the film's talented VFX crew and animators work their magic.
It's a good thing Favreau's gotten used to juggling so many balls at once, seeing as his schedule is shaping up to be equally packed for the foreseeable future. There's a proper chance The Mandalorian will get a second season on Disney+, presumably with Favreau back at the helm serving as showrunner. Meanwhile, last we heard, Disney has been developing The Jungle Book 2 with the intention of bringing Favreau back as director after The Lion King. And on top of all that, the actor-filmmaker might not be done playing Happy Hogan after Spider-Man: Far From Home either, depending on where the MCU goes in Phase 4. So who knows, Favreau may once again find himself splitting his attention between three mega-properties by this time next year.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019