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SXSW: Jon Favreau talks Marvel, his new film ‘Chef,’ and more

Jon Favreau at SXSW 2014
Jon Favreau at SXSW 2014
Sandra Perez

During the South by Southwest festival, Examiner had the chance to attend a Q&A with actor, director, and screenwriter, Jon Favreau, on Sunday, March 9. The “Iron Man” star and director discussed his new film “Chef,” as well as Marvel projects and more.

We asked Jon about his involvement in the “Iron Man” series, and at what point he realized just how big the superhero film had become. “We had no idea it would be this big, but at Comic Con we got an idea, Favreau says. “After we showed some footage, people realized that Robert [Downey Jr.] was the right guy.”

So was RDJ not always their first choice to portray the witty character, Tony Stark? “People were very concerned that Robert wasn't somebody that could be a star for family entertainment [laughs] for the Marvel brand,” Favreau says.

About returning to the Marvel Universe, Favreau tells us, “It’s daunting. I feel like I have some good scores on the board and I don’t want to screw that up. [laughs] Certain things would have to happen for it to feel right. I’m just very fortunate to have been at the right place, and assemble the right group of people. It may happen, it may not.”

Other press members also asked what he loves the most about having been involved as an actor, screenwriter, and director in films. “We were taking a break from filming ‘Iron Man’ once and we’re just sitting there sipping on martinis and talking about how ‘This is what it’s about!’ [laughs] some actors don’t even watch the movie after! It’s all about the experience and the people, the buzz…”

How did your project “Chef” happen? “Sometimes I write stuff just for my friends, just to share. But with this one, I kind of knew it was going to happen. I had a lot of passion and excitement for it,” Favreau says. “’Chef’ is about a man who is estranged from his family, he’s losing himself, and starting this food truck business helps sew it all together.”

What do you struggle with the most as a creator? Favreau jokes, “The internet…oh boy, distractions are the hardest things and keeping focus. All of these games now available on the phone. You’re working and next thing you know you’re getting alerts that your troops are ready to fight. I gotta stop writing the script now because my town is being attacked!”

“Chef” is aiming for a May 9 release and circles around a chef who starts a food truck business after losing his job. The comedy also stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Sofia Vergara.

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