Jon Favreau seems to be one of the big golden geese in Hollywood. Despite the small hiccup he had following the success of Iron Man (which kicked off the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe), Favreau managed to stay in the good graces of Disney and go on to direct the amazing Jungle Book — a film that was for all intents and purposes a live-action production…but one that only had one live-action element: the little boy.
It’s with this same approach that Favreau is involved in not only The Jungle Book 2 but The Lion King. This does, however, bring forth the obvious question of which film he’ll be going to next, and if it is The Lion King, does that mean The Jungle Book 2 will be directed by someone else? Even more intriguing, if he is directing both, does that mean we’ll have to wait several years for The Jungle Book 2?
Speaking with Collider, Favreau went into detail about his involvement in both films, and how it’s making it all very difficult to know whether or not, at this point, he would actually be up for directing The Jungle Book 2:
“I think we’re learning about how this all works. Right now, I’m kind of full-bore into developing the tools to tell the story of Lion King — because you’re sort of developing a whole new set of tools for each production. Right now, in the story phase, getting the story right for Jungle Book 2, I don’t know. Right now the plan is we go right from one into the other, but I know from having worked on two superhero movies back-to-back, it starts to feel…these take many, many, many years.
"I was working on Marvel movies for four years back-to-back. It’s a big chunk of your life, and you have to make sure you’re excited, and bring all your attention and concentration to bear on these things, because they are really big puzzles. Every film is a puzzle you have to solve. These highly technical ones are like 3D chess, there’s like a whole other level to it that has to be understood and learned. For right now, we’re charging ahead with both of them, and we’ll see how it all plays out.”
This is actually incredibly comforting to hear this from Favreau himself. While some would be disheartened that he isn’t fully committing to the idea of directing both, the fact is he’s right. These films do take a lot of energy, and if after developing and directing The Lion King he’s not up to do another similar film, he shouldn’t. Last time he did that, we all got Iron Man 2 (though some could argue that was a story problem not a directing problem). Instead, the task should fall to someone who’s more passionate about the project.
We will, however, have the benefit of knowing that he had his hand in developing the story and tools for The Jungle Book 2 while he was still passionate about it, and that will only serve to benefit the film as a whole when all said and done.
What do you think of Favreau’s comments? Would you be okay with The Jungle Book 2 if he ultimately didn’t go forward as director? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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