Dear Jon Favreau,
Seriously, The Jungle Book 2? The Lion King?
Obviously, it’s not our place to choose your projects for you. If you really want to do CGI animal movies for Disney for the rest of your life, that’s up to you.
We know things didn’t exactly go great with Cowboys and Aliens, and we don’t blame you for Iron Man 2—at least, not entirely.
It’s just, are you sure? CGI animal Disney movies? Because if you’re after making something simple and fun that won’t be picked apart by critics the way Iron Man 2 was, remaking perhaps the most well-regarded animated film of all time probably isn’t the way to go.
At least, though, Favreau knows what he’s getting himself into. He’s fully aware that, as beloved as The Lion King is, nobody’s in a rush to see a poorly made copy of the original with prettier computer graphics:
“The thing is that the animated version of The Lion King is — I don’t know how you outdo that. It works tremendously well. I think it was sort of the end of the era before the 3D animation started coming in, and I don’t think anybody wants to see an animated version because if you want to see an animated version, look at the original. It holds up, it’s still wonderful to watch. So the trick is can you make it look like you actually found real animals in a real environment? And how do you translate the story through that?”
Don’t ask us, Favreau. We’re hoping you know the answer to these questions yourself.
In all honesty, though, the Iron Man director’s attitude of “I’m not sure what to do with this” isn’t making things any clearer as to why he took the project on board in the first place.
Unless, of course, Disney offered him an absolutely insane amount of money to make this movie, as the company is banking on record box office returns from a Lion King follow up that’s at least halfway good.
That couldn’t possibly be the reason, though, right?
Jon Favreau wouldn’t be making a potentially career-ending movie just for the money, right?
Whatever’s up, Favreau is in for the long haul. He know it, too:
“Right now the plan is that we go right from one into the other, but I know from having worked on two superhero movies back to back, these take many many many years. I was working on Marvel movies for like four years back-to-back. It’s a big chunk of your life and you have to make sure that you’re excited and can bring all of your attention and concentration to bear on this, because they are really big puzzles.”
Does anyone else detect a hint of hesitancy in Favreau’s comments here?
An almost hidden attitude of, “Those two Marvel movies were absolute torture by the end of them, and for some reason I’ve signed up for three movies with computer puppets that are going to be even more tiring and thankless”?
Yeah, good luck with this, Favreau.
You must have one heck of a game plan, because from an outside perspective, your decision to do both The Jungle Book 2 and The Lion King looks like a “hold my beer” meme waiting to happen.