As we reported earlier, Jon Favreau and will next be making Disney's Magic Kingdom. Favreau spoke with the HeroComplex about his decision to leave the billion-dollar franchise and why he is excited about his upcoming project.
According to the director, his choice to part ways with Marvel was a well thought out decision and not one that he made quickly and it is definitely not a result of bad blood between he and the studio. The primary reason to move on was to focus on a project that he is passionate about. He wanted to “find something that lights a fire” in him and will also let him “blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn’t loaded with built-in expectations.” Favreau also stated that research has been on going on his next project, even while he was doing post-production for his upcoming film Cowboys & Aliens.
Favreau went on to mention how Disney shaped him by saying,
“Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to. Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child. When I first heard about the ['Magic Kingdom' film] project, I was on my way to visit Disneyland with my family. I took notes and had no problem filling a book with all the ideas that this concept offered, even on first blush. Since then, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Imagineering by Tony Baxter,who knows just about everything there is to know about Disneyland. He pulled original concept art from the archives for me and exposed me to Walt’s original vision.”
The rumors that we mentioned earlier stated that the departure was either a result of not enough money or too many superheroes being crammed by Marvel into the next Iron Man film. According to Favreau he remains close with Kevin Feige Marvel's President and that he will remain a producer on The Avengers coming from Marvel in 2012.
Instead, Favreau considers his departure as a graduation instead of a divorce. He goes on to say,
“Marvel and I both came of age together. The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in…. ‘Iron Man’ has given me tremendous opportunities and Kevin and I are enjoying a lot of momentum in our careers thanks to the ‘Iron Man’ films. I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world.”
Favreau looks at Magic Kindom as a challenge and feels he will have to make sure it is separate and unique from films like Night at the Museum and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The goal is to avoid relying on a gallery of iconic personas as supporting characters. Favreau stated, “It can’t just be like the Christmas parade with all the Disney characters going by.” He hopes to channel the same type of directing he used to make Elf with Will Ferrell.
“I can’t begin to tell you how fulfilling the perennial nature of ‘Elf’ on television has been for me. It’s great to be able to connect parents with children both emotionally and through humor. I look forward to exploring family entertainment once again and examining the specifics of our day-to-day lives against the backdrop of an extraordinary adventure.”
When I initially heard this I was concerned. The idea of an Iron Man without Favreau is like Star Wars or an Indiana Jones film without Harrison Ford. The more I learn about his thought process behind the decision, the more I respect it. You have to have passion and love for what you are doing and enjoy going into work everyday. It sounds like Favreau has certainly found a project that fills that need for him which is wonderful.