Jon Favreau
Favreau in March 2016
Born Jonathan Favreau
Script error
New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
  • Actor
  • director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Joya Tillem (m. 2000)
Children 3
Script error
Script errorTemplate:Wikidata image

Jonathan Favreau (/ˈfævr/; born October 19, 1966) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.

Favreau is known for directing the films Elf (2003), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), The Jungle Book (2016), and The Lion King (2019). He also served as an executive producer on the films The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). He produces films under his banner, Fairview Entertainment. The company has been credited as co-producers in most of Favreau's directorial ventures.

As an actor, Favreau is known for starring in the films Rudy (1993), Swingers (1996), which he also wrote, Very Bad Things (1998), Daredevil (2003), The Break-Up (2006), Couples Retreat (2009), and Chef (2014), which he also wrote and directed. Favreau starred as Pete Becker on third season of the television sitcom Friends and portrays Happy Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Early life Edit

Favreau was born in Flushing, Queens, New York, U.S. the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher who died of leukemia in 1979, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher.[1] His mother was Jewish (of Russian Jewish descent),[2][3][4] and his father is a Catholic of Italian and French-Canadian ancestry.[5][6][7] Favreau attended Hebrew school and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.[8]

Favreau graduated from The Bronx High School of Science in 1984[9] and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987,[10] before dropping out. His friend from college, Mitchell Pollack, said that Favreau went by the nickname "Johnny Hack" because of his talent in the game Hacky Sack.[11] He briefly worked for Bear Stearns on Wall Street before returning to Queens College for a semester in early 1988. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree),[10] and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy.[12] He performed at several Chicago improvisational theaters, including the ImprovOlympic and the Improv Institute.[13]

Career Edit

1992–2000: Early career Edit

While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role alongside Sean Astin as football tutor D-Bob in the sleeper hit Rudy (1993).[14] Favreau met Vince Vaughn – who played a small role in this film – during shooting. The next year, he appeared in the college film PCU alongside Jeremy Piven, in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld titled "The Fire" he appeared as Eric the Clown.[15][16]

Favreau then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was also Vaughn's breakthrough role as the character Trent Walker, a foil to Favreau's heartbroken Mike Peters.[17] In 1997, he appeared on the television sitcom Friends, portraying Pete Becker – Monica Geller's millionaire boyfriend who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – for several episodes.[18] Favreau made appearances in the sketch-comedy series, Tracey Takes On... in both 1996 and 1997.[19]

He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998).[20] In 1999, he starred in the television film Rocky Marciano, based on the life of world heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano.[21] He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen.[22] Favreau appeared in 2000's The Replacements as maniacal linebacker Daniel Bateman, and that same year he played himself in The Sopranos episode "D-Girl", as a Hollywood director who feigns interest in developing mob associate Christopher Moltisanti's screenplay in order to collect material for his own screenplay.[23][24]

2001–2015: Actor–director Edit

File:Jon Favreau-2008.jpg

In 2001, he made his film directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made.[25] Made once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn.

He was a guest-director for an episode of the college dramedy Undeclared in 2001, and Favreau got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the 2003 movie Daredevil (2003) (considerably more in the Director's Cut version).[26][27] He also starred in The Big Empty (2003), directed by Steve Anderson. His character was John Person, an out of work actor given a strange mission to deliver a blue suitcase to a man named Cowboy in the desert.[28]

In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, and Peter Dinklage. Also in 2003, Favreau had a small part in Something's Gotta Give (a film starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson); Favreau played Leo, Harry Sanborn's (Nicholson) personal assistant, who visited Harry in the hospital.[29] In 2005, Favreau directed the film adaptation of Zathura. Favreau continued to make regular appearances in film and television. He reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager. Favreau also made a guest appearance in Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.[30]

Also in 2005, Favreau appeared as a guest judge and executive representative of Sony Corporation in week five of NBC primetime reality TV business show, The Apprentice. He was called upon to judge the efforts of the show's two teams of contestants, who were assigned the task of designing and building a float to publicize his 2005 Sony Pictures movie, Zathura: A Space Adventure.[31]

Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five, which airs on the cable TV channel IFC. On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long-awaited Iron Man movie.[32] Released on May 2, 2008, the film was a huge critical[33] and commercial[34] success, solidifying Favreau's reputation as a director.[35]

Iron Man was the first Marvel-produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. During early scenes in Iron Man, Favreau appears as Tony Stark's driver, Happy Hogan. He also wrote two issues of a planned mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, that debuted in September 2008 before being canceled in November 2008.[36] Favreau also directed the film's sequel, Iron Man 2.[37] in 2008 he played Denver in Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn.


Favreau was the third director attached to John Carter, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' swashbuckling space hero. While he did not ultimately direct it, he did appear in a cameo in the film, as a bookie.

Favreau co-starred in 2009's Couples Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film saw him reunited with co-star Vince Vaughn, and Kristin Davis played his wife.[38]

He voices the character Pre Vizsla, the leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch, in the episodes of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.[39]

Favreau said in December 2010 that he would not direct Iron Man 3. He also remained an executive producer of director Joss Whedon's The Avengers.[40][41]

In July 2011, Favreau was featured in a YouTube video by visual effects artists Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch (known on YouTube as the popular channel, "freddiew"), in a spoof of his then-upcoming summer film, Cowboys & Aliens. He lent the movie's gauntlet prop to Wong & Laatsch for use in the short.[42]


Favreau directed the pilot for the NBC show Revolution, and also served as one of the show's executive producers, alongside J. J. Abrams.[43]

In 2013, he filmed a pilot for a TV series based on the novel About a Boy, but set in San Francisco.[44] He also directed the Destiny trailer "The Law of the Jungle".

2016–present: Continued success Edit

In 2016, Favreau directed and produced the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, for Walt Disney Pictures, which was released on April 15, 2016 to critical and commercial acclaim.[45] He returned as Happy Hogan in the film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and co-executive produced Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Favreau filmed a scene for Avengers: Infinity War, but was cut, ending up on the Blu-Ray release. In 2017, Favreau directed the pilot episode of CBS' Young Sheldon.[46]

In the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, Favreau reprised his role as Happy Hogan in a cameo near the end of the film. The film, directed by the Russo brothers,[47] was executive-produced by Favreau.[48] Avengers: Endgame was released on April 26, 2019.

Favreau also appeared in the sequel to Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home.[49]

Future projects Edit

In September 2016, it was reported that Favreau would direct a CGI adaptation of Disney's The Lion King,[50][51] marking his first time directing a musical.[50] On February 17, 2017, Favreau revealed via Twitter that Donald Glover is slated to voice Simba,[52] while James Earl Jones is attached to reprise his role as Mufasa from the original film.[53]

On March 8, 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Favreau will executive produce and write a live-action Star Wars television series, titled The Mandalorian, for Disney+.[54][55]

In April 2016, it was reported that Favreau will return to direct the sequel to The Jungle Book, his critically acclaimed live-action adaptation of the animated film of the same name.[56] Despite the fact that Warner Bros. was developing its own Jungle Book film, Mowgli, it was reported that Favreau's film would be released in August or November 2018, although it was later put on hold so he could focus on The Lion King.[57] Early pre-production of the sequel had begun by June 12, 2018, with Justin Marks, who wrote the previous film, having ended an early draft for the film.[58]

In May 2019, it was announced that Favreau would produce the documentary series Prehistoric Planet alongside the BBC Natural History Unit for Apple TV+.[59] In May 2019, it was also announced that Favreau would co-host and executive produce a cooking show for Netflix along with co-host Roy Choi, called The Chef Show.[60]

Unrealized projects Edit

In November 2010, it was reported that Favreau will direct a film entitled Magic Kingdom, based on The Walt Disney Company's theme park of the same name.[61] In July 2012, Favreau reported officially that he was working on the film.[62][63] In 2014, he stated that he still had interest in the project, and that he could direct it after finishing filming The Jungle Book.[64]

In November 2012, it was said that Favreau was in talks to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with David Fincher, Matthew Vaughn and Ben Affleck; but J.J. Abrams was selected to direct the film.[65] However, in June 2015, Favreau stated that although he would not be working on the Star Wars Anthology films, he could work on future Star Wars movies at some point.[66]

On September 28, 2013, Mental Floss reported that at one moment, Favreau tried to direct a sequel to his famous film Elf, entitled Elf 2: Buddy Saves Christmas, but it was later cancelled.[67] In December 2013, Will Ferrell stated that he didn't want to make a sequel to Elf.[68] Despite this, during an interview in January 2016, Favreau stated that a sequel could possibly be made.[69] The next month however, Ferrell reiterated that it's unlikely that the sequel will happen and that he still didn't want to return to the role.[70]

Personal life Edit

Favreau married physician Joya Tillem on November 24, 2000. The couple has a son (Max Favreau, who portrays a young Peter Parker in Iron Man 2[71][72]) and two daughters. Tillem is the niece of lawyer/talk show host Len Tillem.[73]

Favreau credits the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."[74]

Filmography Edit

File:Jon Favreau 2012.jpg
Films directed by Favreau
Title Release date Budget Gross RT score[75]
Made July 13, 2001 $5 million $5 million 71%
Elf November 7, 2003 $33 million $220 million 83%
Zathura: A Space Adventure November 11, 2005 $65 million $64 million 75%
Iron Man May 2, 2008 $140 million $585 million 93%
Iron Man 2 May 7, 2010 $200 million $623 million 73%
Cowboys & Aliens June 29, 2011 $163 million $174 million 45%
Chef May 9, 2014 $11 million $46 million 87%
The Jungle Book April 15, 2016 $175 million $966.5 million 95%
The Lion King July 19, 2019 TBD TBD TBD

Awards and recognitionEdit

Script error In May 2019, it was announced that Favreau will be named a Disney Legend at the 2019 D23 Expo for his outstanding contributions to The Walt Disney Company.[76][77]

References Edit

  1. Jewel, Dan (November 25, 1996)."Swing and a Hit". People. vol. 46, #22.
  2. Marc Maron (December 14, 2012). "WTF – Jon Favreau talks heritage & pronunciation.". 
  3. Bloom, Nate (November 28, 2008). "Jewish Stars". Cleveland Jewish News. 
  4. Weiss, Vered (February 1, 2015). "Jon Favreau Serves Up Warm, Feel Good Comedy, "Chef" On Netflix". Jewish Business News. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  5. Ryan, James (October 13, 1996). "A Hollywood Scene He Knows Too Well". The New York Times.
  6. Pfefferman, Naomi (December 26, 2003). "A Gift From Santa's Jewish Helpers".
  7. Stack, Peter (October 18, 1996). "Jon Favreau's `Swingers' -- It's a Guy Thing". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  8. "The Arty Semite". blog.
  9. Austin, Ben (August 5, 2011). "Jon Favreau ('84) Succeeds Again With Cowboys & Aliens". The Bronx High School of Science Alumni Association & Endowment Fund. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Suter, Bob (Fall 2006). "Lighting Up the Arts: Extraordinary Queens College Alumni Who Have Gone on to Successful Careers in the Arts". Q Magazine. Queens College. 
  11. Bowles, Scott (May 7, 2010). "Favreau's a Comic-Book Hero"'. USA Today. pp. 1D-2D.
  12. "Jon Favreau" Retrieved 10 August 2015
  13. Gillette, Amelie (March 7, 2006). "Jon Favreau". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  14. Hayes, Britt (June 4, 2013). "See the Cast of 'Rudy' Then and Now". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  15. Richardson, Seth (July 14, 2014). "‘PCU’ 20 Years Later: 5 Ways The Film Predicted The Future". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  16. Rothman, Michael (July 5, 2014). "On 'Seinfeld's' 25th Anniversary: 25 Actors You Forgot Were on the Show". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  17. Buchanan, Kyle (August 17, 2011). "Nostalgia Fact-Check: How Does Swingers Hold Up?". New York. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  18. Dockterman, Eliana (December 29, 2014). "8 Actors Who Got Their Start on Friends". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  19. "Tracey Takes On...". 
  20. Travers, Peter (November 25, 1998). "Very Bad Things". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  21. Angulo, Sandra P. (May 14, 1999). "Jon Favreau takes a swing at Rocky Marciano". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  22. Costa, Maddy (22 September 2000). "Lots more Mr Nice Guy". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  23. Sauter, Michael (December 1, 2000). "The Replacements". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  24. VanDerWerff, Todd (August 11, 2010). "The Sopranos: "D-Girl"/"Full Leather Jacket"". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  25. Giroux, Jack (May 12, 2014). "How Jon Favreau Made "Chef" His Own Flavor of Ice Cream". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  26. Ng, Philiana (March 13, 2011). "'Undeclared' Creator Judd Apatow: It Was a Weird Moment for Comedy". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  27. McNary, Dave (February 22, 2002). "Daredevil has partner in Favreau". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  28. "The Big Empty (2003)". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  29. Foundas, Scott (December 4, 2003). "Review: ‘Something’s Gotta Give’". Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  30. "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights -- Hollywood To The Heartland". TV Guide. 
  31. "Lost in Space". January 1, 2000. 
  32. Kit, Borys (April 28, 2006). "Marvel Studios outlines slew of superhero titles". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved April 29, 2006. 
  33. Yamato, Jen (May 1, 2008). "Iron Man is the Best-Reviewed Movie of 2008!". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  34. "Iron Man (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  35. Adams, Sam (April 14, 2016). "Assessment of Jon Favreau's directing career from Iron Man to Chef to Jungle Book". 
  36. "Behind the Scenes of Iron Man with Director Jon Favreau". 
  37. Finke, Nikki (July 9, 2008). "So What Was All The Fuss About? Marvel Locks in Jon Favreau For 'Iron Man 2'". Archived from the original on August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  38. "Trio of Ladies Going on Couples Retreat". TV Guide. October 15, 2008. Retrieved on October 15, 2008.
  39. Joseph (February 27, 2014). "10 Actors You Didn't Realise Were In Star Wars: The Clone Wars". 
  40. Sneider, Jeff (December 14, 2010). "No Favreau? 10 Directors Who Could Take Over 'Iron Man 3'", WebCitation archive.
  41. "Jon Favreau Will Not Direct Iron Man 3". "Vulture" (column). New York. December 14, 2010. Retrieved on December 14, 2010.
  42. Behind the Scenes with Jon Favreau. BrandonJLa. July 23, 2011. 
  43. Bettinger, Brendan (February 8, 2012). "Jon Favreau to Direct NBC Pilot REVOLUTION; J.J. Abrams, Eric Kripke, and Bryan Burk Producing". 
  44. "NBC Pilot Filmed in San Francisco". 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  45. "Disney Sets Release Dates for Alice in Wonderland 2 and The Jungle Book". Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  46. ""Young Sheldon" Pilot (TV Episode 2017)". Retrieved February 28, 2019. 
  47. Damore, Meagan (August 22, 2017). "Avengers 4 Set Photos Capture Iron Man Character's Return". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017. 
  48. "The Jungle Book's Jon Favreau IS going back to Marvel". April 18, 2016. 
  49. Schaefer, Sandy (April 17, 2019). "Spider-Man: Far From Home Release Date Moves Up 3 Days". Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019. 
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Disney and Jon Favreau Joining Forces on "The Lion King" - The Walt Disney Company". The Walt Disney Company. September 28, 2016. 
  51. Jon Favreau [Jon_Favreau] (28 September 2016). "Excited for my next project 🦁👑" (Tweet). 
  52. Jon Favreau [Jon_Favreau] (18 February 2017). "I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba" (Tweet). 
  53. "The Lion King Remake Has Found Its Simba - CINEMABLEND". February 18, 2017. 
  54. "Jon Favreau to Executive Produce and Write Live-Action Star Wars Series -". 
  55. Barnes, Brooks (2018-03-08). "Jon Favreau to Pen Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Streaming Series" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  56. "Disney Stakes Out Release Dates for 'Jungle Book 2,' 'Maleficent 2' and More". 
  57. Lang, Brent (April 25, 2016). "Disney Claims Dates for Several New Movies; Confirms ‘Jungle Book 2,’ ‘Mary Poppins’ Sequel". 
  58. Topel, Fred (June 12, 2018). "‘The Jungle Book 2’ Will Resurrect Unused Disney Ideas, Explore More Rudyard Kipling Stories [TCA 2018"]. Retrieved January 11, 2019. 
  59. White, Peter; White, Peter (2019-05-08). "‘The Jungle Book’ Director Jon Favreau Teams With BBC Studios’ NHU To Produce Doc Series ‘Prehistoric Planet’ For Apple" (in en). Retrieved 2019-05-08. 
  60. Haring, Bruce (May 19, 2019). "‘The Chef Show’ Reunites ‘Chef’ Film Friends Jon Favreau & Roy Choi On Netflix – Watch The Trailer" (in en). Retrieved May 19, 2019. 
  61. Graser, Marc (November 11, 2010). "Jon Favreau enters Disney’s ‘Magic Kingdom’". 
  62. "Pixar is Helping with Jon Favreau's 'Magic Kingdom' - CraveOnline". July 25, 2012. 
  63. "Is Jon Favreau Still Making Magic Kingdom At Disney? Here's What He Says - CINEMABLEND". April 5, 2016. 
  64. "Jon Favreau Still Wants To Do 'Magic Kingdom'; Could Be After 'Jungle Book' - /Film". March 10, 2014. 
  65. "‘Star Wars 7′: David Fincher, Jon Favreau Being Considered to Direct?". November 30, 2012. 
  66. "Jon Favreau Confirms He’s Not Directing a ‘Star Wars’ Movie". June 19, 2015. 
  67. "55 Unfortunately Unfinished Films". September 18, 2013. 
  68. "Will Ferrell Says 'Bah Humbug' to 'Elf 2'". 
  69. "Elf 2 Could Happen Says Jon Favreau (Exclusive)". 
  70. Tilly, Chris (February 11, 2016). "Why Will Ferrell Won't Make Elf 2". 
  71. Bradley, Bill (June 26, 2017). "Tom Holland Confirms Popular Fan Theory: Spider-Man Was In 'Iron Man 2'". Archived from the original on June 26, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017. 
  72. Ryan, Mark (June 27, 2017). "'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Director Jon Watts Explains Real Story Behind Peter Parker's 'Iron Man 2' Cameo". Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017. 
  73. Len Tillem Program (On air discussion). KGO radio, San Francisco. December 29, 2008.
  74. Boucher, Geoff (May 5, 2008). "Jon Favreau is the action figure behind 'Iron Man'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008. 
  75. "Jon Favreau". Retrieved 23 November 2018. 
  76. "Meet the 2019 Disney Legends to Be Honored at D23 Expo". 16 May 2019. 
  77. "Eleven new Disney Legends to be honored at D23 Expo 2019". 16 May 2019. 

External links Edit

Template:Jon Favreau Template:Saturn Award for Best Director

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.