Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jon Favreau on Starting the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Early this morning I interviewed director Jon Favreau about his new film Chef, which he also wrote and stars in. You can listen to the audio from that on the MovieFilm Podcast next week, but I figured I'd get this bit from the end of our conversation, about his foundational role in creating what's now popularly called the Marvel Cinematic Universe, transcribed and out to you guys. Check it out after the jump.

When you look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, do you feel a little parental pride?

I do. I definitely do. There are aspects that are beyond me, that I don't totally get. Like, when you combine certain villains and certain heroes, who would win and who would lose. The inter-hero politics I don't totally get as good as, like, Joss does. But I really do feel a strong sense of connection to the tone, because I think the tone of Iron Man is really what ended up being inherited by all the movies that followed. If you remember, there was Hulk and Iron Man the same summer, and it's almost like Hulk's been rebooted with The Avengers to fit the Iron Man universe, with the different casting and the different tone.

And then also the casting. If you look at…even like Winter Soldier, you know, it's built off, to some degree, the foundation of S.H.I.E.L.D., of Scarlett, and Nick Fury -- Sam Jackson. So it feels like they're' all like…it must be how an old lady feels at Christmas, with great grandchildren all around her that she doesn't know all their names but she feels really connected to them.

That's kind of how I feel, because it was the equivalent of coming overseas on the boat...(laughs)...with just your suitcase by your side and no prospects. Because that's what Marvel felt like when it first started. If we failed, the whole thing would've gone under. And then for it to succeed to the point where it's spawned all these great other franchises with all these other talented filmmakers bringing their personality to it while maintaining I think what was important to me when I started it.

So I think it's a bit surreal more than it is makes me proud, because I feel connected to it but I also feel very apart from it, because…you know, when I was doing Happy Hogan on the set [of Iron Man 3, directed by Shane Black] -- and they could not have been nicer, I was an executive producer of Iron Man 3 -- it's so different than being on the set when they're building the sets and you're controlling the whole thing. But it was a good dress rehearsal for what life feels like as you get older. You're treated kindly and with respect, but not a lot's asked of you. You get to kind of proudly look on and beam at what's come after you.

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Look for the rest of our chat soon!

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