Jonathan Favreau, who turns 53 today, has proved his prowess on various grounds. Apart from being an actor, writer and producer, the man is known for helming the first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Iron Man (2008), thus giving birth to a franchise consisting of 22 films appealing a huge fan base worldwide.
For the generation that grew up reading Marvel comics and are now enjoying films made on them, Favreau is nothing short of another character from the superhero universe.
There is something for everyone in Favreau's films.
Talking about his acting first, when Happy Hogan and Black Widow go to the Hammer’s factory in Iron Man 2, we see how he is adamant to help Scarlett Johansson as he tries to be the helpful and a protective figure. As he enters, he deals (or rather struggles) with one of the security guards. But his sense of triumph is short lived since Scarlett has already dealt with the rest of them. This scene breaks the stereotypes and assures women that they’re watching a gender-sensitive film.
In Iron Man 3, he’s the over-zealous security guard who doesn’t understand the experimental plant and jumps right at Robert Downey Junior in order to protect him. While he is on top of Tony Stark, he says, “Stand up. You’re safe.”
Isn’t that most of us, who walk into the danger zone without knowing much about it?
Remember when he appeared in FRIENDS? He played Pete Becker, Monica Geller’s boyfriend in season 3. Crazy for UFC, he ends up with plaster on his entire body. Needless to say, Monica broke up with him. Do we not know at least one such person in our life?
This emotional connect can also be seen in The Lion King, one of his directorials. “What we’re trying to do is, just like motion capture tries to get anomalies of performance, what we’re trying to get is anomalies of photography,” he had said while talking about his movie in an interview.
“It starts to hopefully feel like you’re watching something that’s not a visual effects production, but something where you’re just looking into a world that’s very realistic and emotionally feels as realistic as if you’re watching live creatures,” he added.
As an actor and director, he always knows where he is leading us, and that makes us believe that his best is yet to come.
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