Jon Favreau is an American actor, director, and producer, known for his acting roles in films like ‘Very Bad Things.’ He is also known for directing films, such as 'Iron Man' and ‘The Jungle Book.’ He began his career by performing in theatres. He made his film debut with a role in the biographical sports film ‘Rudy.’ The film, which was about the life of American motivational speaker and football player Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, was a commercial success. He made his directorial debut with the crime comedy film 'Made.' Apart from directing, he also wrote, co-produced, and acted in the film. He gained international fame as a director for his work in the superhero film 'Iron Man.’ The film was a huge commercial success and also won several awards and nominations. He also directed its sequel 'Iron Man 2' which was a commercial success as well and earned an ‘Oscar’ nomination. In his career so far, Favreau has earned several awards, including the 'Hollywood Film Award' for his work as a director in the film ‘The Jungle Book.’
Childhood & Early Life
Jonathan Kolia Favreau was born on 19 October 1966, in Queens, New York, United States. His parents Madeleine and Charles Favreau were both teachers. While his mother was of Russian Jewish descent, his father is of Italian and French-Canadian ancestry.
Favreau graduated from ‘The Bronx High School of Science’ in 1984. He later attended ‘Queens College’ for a few years before dropping out. Later, in order to pursue a career in comedy, Favreau moved to Chicago and started performing at improvisational theatres.
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Jon Favreau made his film debut in 1993 with a role in the biographical sports film ‘Rudy.’ The film was about the life of Daniel Ruettiger, an American motivational speaker and footballer, who pursued his dream of playing football for the ‘University of Notre Dame’ despite several obstacles. The film did well commercially and also received positive reviews.
Over the next few years, he appeared in several films, such as ‘Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle’ (1994), ‘Very Bad Things’ (1998), and ‘Love & Sex’ (2000). He made his directorial debut in 2001 with the film ‘Made.’ Apart from directing, he also co-produced the film and played the lead role. Although the film wasn’t very successful commercially, it was met with positive reviews from critics.
In 2003, he directed the Christmas comedy film ‘Elf.’ The story revolved around one of the elves of Santa Claus, who after learning about his true human identity, goes to New York to meet his biological father. The film was a huge success commercially. It is also regarded as one of the best Christmas films of all time. The same year, he also played an important role in the superhero film ‘Daredevil.’
In 2005, he directed the sci-fi film ‘Zathura: A Space Adventure.’ Though the film was a commercial failure, it was met with positive reviews. The following year, he played a supporting role in ‘The Break-Up’ and voiced a character named Reilly in ‘Open Season.’ He also played a role in the comedy TV series ‘My name is Earl.’
In 2008, he directed and co-produced the superhero film ‘Iron Man,’ which was based on the ‘Marvel Comics’ character of the same name. The film was a huge commercial success. It was also appreciated by the critics and won several accolades as well. In 2010, he directed ‘Iron Man 2,’ the sequel to ‘Iron Man,’ which also was a huge hit. It also earned an ‘Oscar’ nomination for ‘Best Visual Effects.’
In 2011, Jon Favreau directed the sci-fi film ‘Cowboys & Aliens.’ The film revolved around three people from different backgrounds who team up in order to save humans abducted by aliens. The film was a commercial success. The following year, he played a supporting role in ‘People Like Us’ and voiced a character named Thark Bookie in ‘John Carter.’
In 2013, he served as a co-producer in ‘Iron Man 3.’ He also played a supporting role in the film which grossed more than $1 billion. The following year, he played the lead role in the comedy-drama film ‘Chef.’ The film was a commercial success, grossing more than four times its budget.
He was next seen in films, such as ‘Entourage’ (2015), ‘Term Life’ (2016), and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (2017). He also directed the 2016 Oscar-winning adventure film ‘The Jungle Book.’ It was inspired by the famous film of the same name by ‘Walt Disney.’ The film was a huge commercial success and also won an ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Visual Effects.’
He also directed the pilot episode of ‘CBS’ network's ‘Young Sheldon’ in 2017.
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In 2018, he co-executive produced ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
The 2019 film ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ which was directed by the Russo brothers, was executive-produced by Favreau. He also appeared in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home.’
In 2019, Favreau directed ‘The Lion King’ which surpassed ‘The Jungle Book’ to become the highest-grossing film of his career.
It was announced on May 2019 that Favreau would produce the documentary series ‘Prehistoric Planet.’
Jon Favreau attained international fame for his work as a director in the superhero film ‘Iron Man.’ The film starred well-known actors, such as Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson. The film revolved around Tony Stark, an industrialist and a skilled engineer who becomes the ‘Iron Man’ after building a super-powered armor.
The film was a commercial success and received positive reviews. Favreau also directed the sequel ‘Iron Man 2,’ which also was a commercial success, and received an ‘Oscar’ nomination.
The 2016 fantasy adventure film ‘The Jungle Book’ is one of the most significant works of Favreau’s career. Inspired by the famous 1967 animated film of the same name by Walt Disney, the movie narrates the story of an orphan boy named Mowgli who grows up among animals. The film did very well commercially, grossing more than $966 million against a budget of $177 million. The film also received several awards, including an ‘Oscar.’
Awards & Achievements
Jon Favreau has won several awards and nominations. In 2008, he was nominated for ‘Best Director’ award at ‘Scream Awards’ for directing ‘Iron Man.’ The following year, he won the ‘Best Director’ award at the 35th ‘Saturn Awards’ for his work in ‘Iron Man.’
He received a ‘Hollywood Film Award’ for his film ‘The Jungle Book’ in 2016.
Jon Favreau married Joya Tillem on November 24, 2000. She is a physician by profession. The couple has a son named Max and two daughters, namely Madeleine and Brighton.
Favreau credits the popular role-playing game ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ for his storytelling skills as well as his imagination.