Jon Favreau is best known for being the guy who kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe way back in 2008 with the iconic and groundbreaking Iron Man. That initial simplistic formula served as the template for the Marvel Cinematic Universe – specifically the Phase One films that followed – and eventually became a cinematic phenomenon spanning 30 big screen films, with more on the way.
Since that time, Favreau’s success with Iron Man has opened quite a few doors, allowing him to take command of one of Disney’s few functional and workable Star Wars properties – The Mandalorian. Meanwhile, Favreau has continued to write, act and direct in other films and TV shows, cementing his status as a multidisciplinary talent. As of 2023, he’s also been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Longtime friend and Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. was present at the event, where he took the stage to introduce Favreau with some kind words. At one point, Downey Jr. commented that Favreau understood life’s fleeting nature, and that “…if we’re not laughing, we’re dying.” He summed up his semi-comedic speech by listing off a number of films Favreau has worked on, before ordering the crowd to “clap for him now.”
Later, Favreau himself was interviewed by Fox News to get his take on being awarded such an honor. “My friends and I would walk up and down these streets when we were coming here to see movies, when we first were trying to break into the film business. And now, to be one of the names that people walk upon as they take in the beautiful sights of these old theaters, these old movie palaces, and to be part of the tradition that’s been around for so long…is a very high honor.”
When asked which of his accomplishments he was most proud of, Favreau answered that it wasn’t a specific project, but rather, the people he has collaborated and befriended over the years who share the same passion for filmmaking and theater. He specifically referenced Robert Downey Jr. as one of those close friends, reminiscing on how the first Iron Man film was “anything but a sure thing,” yet became the start of a blockbuster franchise.
Favreau made his acting debut in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit part in the 1992 black comedy Folks!, starring Tom Selleck. He would continue to pay his dues by starring in minor roles in films like Hoffa, Batman Forever and Deep Impact, before eventually solidifying himself as a standout actor. However, his true calling seems to be the director’s chair, where he’s helmed hits like Elf, The Jungle Book, The Mandalorian, and of course, Iron Man 1 and 2.
Recently, Favreau’s involvement with LucasFilm has been mired in rumors of internal conflicts, specifically versus Kathleen Kennedy, who is widely regarded as a cancerous force who brought the Star Wars franchise to its knees. Recently, rumors abounded that Favreau nearly quit LucasFilm altogether after Kennedy’s constant meddling. For many longtime Star Wars fans, Favreau is viewed as the one man who could possibly put the franchise back on track after years of bad decision making.
For Favreau, however, the future looks uncertain. While there have been talks of him helming the next line of big-screen Star Wars films, nothing concrete has emerged. It’s likely Favreau will continue to work on projects he has a personal connection to, while working with actors and crewmembers who share his vision. This happened in 2014 when Favreau took a back-to-basics approach with his dramady film Chef, earning widespread critical praise.
For now, Favreau has cemented his status as an icon in today’s turbulent Hollywood business model. Sharing the Walk of Fame with so many greats is undoubtedly a well-deserved honor, but one gets the feeling Favreau could have done without it. He’s just a guy who loves making movies and entertaining people, and that seems to be rewarding enough all on its own.
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