Throughout the years, it’s been fascinating to watch Jon Favreau’s filmmaking career unfold. After a parade of indie hits and an enduring, modern-day Christmas classic in the form of Elf, Favreau got in on the ground floor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Iron Man. That was in 2008, before the director returned two years later for the inevitable sequel. A quick turnaround by any stretch, Iron Man 2 was so concerned with acting as a primer for the Avengers that it struggled to reach the scaly heights of its predecessor.
Couple this with the wholly forgettable Cowboys & Aliens and it’s hardly surprising that Jon Favreau grew restless of studio filmmaking by 2012. In many ways, the director took that experience and wrapped it up in a delicious, cinematic metaphor called Chef – head cook leaves top restaurant, carves out success on his own, cue the credits. But that passion project didn’t spell the end of Favreau’s blockbuster career – far from it.
Earlier this year, the filmmaker engineered one of the most surprising treats of 2016 in The Jungle Book, lending Disney the impetus to not only lock down plans for a sequel, but also ensure Favreau was on board to helm another live-action remake: The Lion King.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Curious as to how the director plans to juggle two high-profile tentpoles? Collider caught up with Favreau to discuss his future slate, confirming that, right now, the plan is to essentially shoot both films back-to-back.
“Right now the plan is that we go right from one to the other, but I know from having worked on two superhero movies back to back, these take many, many, many years. I was working on Marvel movies for like four years back-to-back. It’s a big chunk of your life and you have to make sure that you’re excited and can bring all of your attention and concentration to bear on this, because they are really big puzzles. Every film is a puzzle you have to solve—these highly technical ones are like 3D chess.”
Both projects are in the early, early stages, and so far Disney has tentatively pegged The Jungle Book 2 for 2018. Nothing to report for The Lion King but here, Favreau talked about the film’s enduring legacy.
“With Lion King, there you have such a strong original film, and then there was a theater production of it as well in a different medium that was very well received and successful and still continues to play. And you have a lot of people with very deep memories and connections to those properties so you want to make sure that, even though the story is very strong, you want to make sure it translates well to yet another medium and doesn’t feel like it’s duplicating or trying to outdo what was done in another medium.”
When asked about the expectations going into The Jungle Book 2 – the original blew past all expectations to score $995 million worldwide, remember – the director was quick to stress the importance of the story.
For Jungle Book 2, it’s all about the story, all about the script, all about the characters and we’re working on that, and making a lot of progress and have some stuff that feels connected. Because you want it to feel like the first film. You want it to feel not like you’re doing a different genre a film because you’re doing another chapter, you want it to feel connected to the original.
So, there you have it: Jon Favreau will be at the helm for both The Jungle Book 2 and Disney’s new interpretation of The Lion King. But what are your thoughts on all this? Sound off down below and let us know!