Jon Favreau Heads to 'Wall Street' & 'Magic Kingdom' with Pixar Now
Though director Jon Favreau has been busy, most of his work has been in front of the camera lately. Cowboys & Aliens is so last summer, and we haven't talked about his directing the NBC pilot "Revolution" from Bad Robot, because TV coverage here just isn't our bag. However, Favreau lent his voice to John Carter, had a supporting role in People Like Us and joins Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in Identity Theft, in addition to reprising his role as Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3. Now Deadline reports Favreau has also booked a role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio. But that's not all; the director also provided an update on Magic Kingdom that involves some collaboration with Pixar.
As for The Wolf of Wall Street, the film follows a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a massive 90's securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the banking world, including the mob. Leonardo DiCaprio has a lead role with Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Kyle Chandler and more. As for Favreau's involvement, he'll play a securities lawyer. It marks the first time Faveau has worked with Scorsese, and I'm sure he'll be taking notes as a director, too.
Now back behind the camera, Favreau is also pretty busy. He was recently confirmed to be at the helm of the big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys, but the gestating Disney project Magic Kingdom is still very much in the cards. Speaking with Crave Online at the Television Critics Association, Favreau confirms that Magic Kingdom might keep us waiting for awhile, but that's apparently a good thing. Basically, it comes down to having less pressure to meet a release date and taking time to give all the Disney's properties involved the care and respect they deserve. Favreau says:
“I went back to back to back with three movies in a row, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, all of them with release dates announced as I walked in. As I cracked the script for the first time [on those projects] we already knew the date and the poster, in some cases the cast. On this one, Magic Kingdom is a big film. It’s a very special piece of intellectual property with all the characters from the park and the legacy of Walt Disney.”
For those just joining us, Favreau briefly explains the plot and world they're heading into:
"It’s going to be a family in the park. It’s an alternate reality version of the park that they get launched into. So much of it is just how it weaves together as a tapestry and what the visuals look like in creating this rich world. It’s informed by everything that I remember and know about the park from going there since I was a small child.”
Of course, the question in the air is just which attractions at Disneyland, classic or contemporary, will be used in the film. Apparently all of them are still on the table, and it sounds like it will have something for those who went to the park decades ago, and the kids who are still discovering all the things Disney has introduced to the world. The director says:
"There’s a lot of ideas swirling around now. I don’t know which ones are going to make it in but it’s definitely informed primarily by Walt’s vision of the park, even before and immediately after it opened. A lot of it for people our age there’ll be a nostalgic element to it. People who know Disneyland are going to see that we did our homework, but then it’s ultimately an adventure that’s going to be for the family and for the kids too. I had a lot of fun playing to that type of crowd with Elf and Zathura. This seems to be mixing elements from all the films I’ve done, from Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Zathura, Elf all rolled into one project that really is calling upon everything I’ve learned up to this point.”
And it also sounds like the director is learning more because he also revealed that Pixar is helping out on the film, though it's still very much a Disney production. Favreau sounds like he couldn't be happier to be working with John Lasseter for the first time and Pixar is really going to help make this film even more special. The filmmaker elaborates:
“As far as I know it’s a Disney production but they’ve been very good about Pixar. [I've known] Lasseter for many years now. It’s our first time collaborating together but he’s opened up all the resources of Pixar. I’ve been up there a few times now and stayed up at the ranch. It’s just been a dream come true. Taking a tour of Pixar is special enough but to sit in a room and pitch to those people and hear their ideas, it’s very, very exciting. I want to learn as much as I can from them and hopefully have their success in storytelling that they do as well by learning from their process. I really want to hold this film to a very high standard so I’m not rushing it but it’s coming along very well.
What we’ve been doing is writing a script, going up to Pixar, meeting with the brain trust, coming back down, bringing on artists, story editors and putting it together as though it were an animated film so that by the time we actually film it, we’ll have a rock solid story. I don’t want to rush anything. I want this thing to be perfect. I want it to be one shot one kill, like a sniper. I want to make sure this movie’s right in the crosshairs that we can really knock it out of the park so to speak.”
I think hardcore Disney fans will agree that they don't want this project rushed if that means less care would be taken with all the popular Disney characters and attractions from years past and present. Taking a Night at the Museum kind of idea and applying it to a place as magical as Disneyland sounds like just what the doctor ordered, and considering this will take the family fun of films like Elf and Zathura with the action of Cowboys & Aliens and the rabid fanbase similar to Iron Man, this really will be a film that calls upon everything Favreau has learned as a filmmaker, and I can't wait to see this ambitious endeavor unfold.