Having become king of the jungle, Jon Favreau is heading to the African Savannah.Disney has tapped the filmmaker to oversee its upcoming live-action remake of "The Lion King." Favreau already had success modernizing "The Jungle Book" for the studio. He's also the director of "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2." Disney has been busy delving into its vaults, and modernizing classic animated fare like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cinderella" with flesh and blood actors, and, in the case of...
The New Yorker started off in improv and scored small parts in films, including 1993’s “Rudy,” where he met future “Swingers” partner Vince Vaughn. Their 1996 comedy, which Favreau wrote and co-produced, was their big break, and he went on to play a diverse slate of roles in such films as “Rocky Marciano” (he was the lead), “Very Bad Things” and “Daredevil.”
But it was 2001’s “Made,” his directorial debut starring himself and Vaughn, that pushed his career in a new direction, and since then he’s established himself as one of Hollywood’s most bankable and reliable helmers, despite the occasional misfire (“Cowboys and Aliens,” “Zathura”). The family comedy “Elf” starring Will Ferrell grossed $220 million and made the comedian a mega-star.
And while Favreau was far from an obvious choice to direct Marvel’s “Iron Man,” he turned out to be the perfect team leader, confidently juggling self-important characters (Tony Stark) with exciting set-pieces and a comic, self-mocking tone that powered the first two films to more than $1.2 billion. He also helped resurrect Robert Downey Jr.’s career, and together they carved out the tonal template for future Marvel franchises. He made the more personal “Chef” and 2016’s $961 million smash “Jungle Book.” Upcoming projects include a live-action remake of “The Lion King.”