10 Films with - or from - Actor/Writer/Director Jon Favreau

A Look Back at Jon Favreau's Career

Jon Favreau began his career as an actor but eventually decided he wanted more control over the projects he was involved with, so he decided to start writing and then directing. He’s also known for his television appearances on such popular shows as Friends, and for creating his own lively version of the talk show with Dinner for Five, in which he invited five celebrities to sit down for a meal and conversation. Favreau has worked on the indie scene, but hit the mainstream big time with the huge box office success of in 2008.

'Rudy' (1993)

Rudy on DVD
Rudy. Sony Pictures

Okay, Jon Favreau might not have had a big part or made a huge impression with this football film, but this is where he met fellow castmate Vince Vaughn and that would lead to them collaborating on career-changing projects including the noteworthy indie Swingers.

'Notes From Underground' (1995)

Notes from Underground
Notes from Underground. © Olive Films
Not many American actors can say they have been in an adaptation of Russia’s great author Fyodor Dostoevsky. But Favreau took on the role of Zerkov in Gary Alan Walkow’s ambitious screen adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novella. Henry Czerny plays the alienated anti-hero. The film shows Favreau’s willingness to look for challenging work outside the mainstream.

'Batman Forever' (1995)

Batman Forever
Batman Forever. © Warner Home Video
I only mention this because anyone who appeared in a Joel Schumacher Batman movie and survived deserves some kind of recognition. Fortunately Favreau followed this with the savvy indie treat, Swingers.

'Swingers' (Co-Star, Co-Producer, Writer) (1996)

Swingers
Swingers. © Miramax Home Entertainment
Favreau wrote this smart, snappy screenplay, and provided himself and co-star Vince Vaughn with attention grabbing roles. Favreau plays an aspiring comedian and Vaughn is his slick, smooth operator of a friend who tries to show him the ropes on the swinging singles scene. The contrast between the two actors – Favreau playing the likable goof pining over lost love and Vaughn as his charismatic fast-talking buddy – is irresistible.

'Very Bad Things' (1998)

Very Bad Things
Very Bad Things. © Polygram
This is a deliciously wicked piece of nastiness. A bunch of buddies go to Vegas for a bachelor party (before and with more savage comedy) and end up accidentally killing a hooker. Things quickly spiral out of control in this blackest of black comedies. Writer-director Peter Berg pulls no punches as he takes this film to its logical extreme. Favreau only acts in this one, and he is joined by a remarkable cast that includes Christian Slater, Daniel Stern, and Jeremy Piven.

'Made' (2001)

Made
Made. © Lionsgate
Favreau takes the creative reins again and teams with pal Vince Vaughn for this tale of two friends and aspiring boxers. Favreau makes his directorial debut and riffs on the gangster films that he only alluded to in Swingers.
Daredevil
Daredevil. © 20th Century Fox
Wow! Favreau survived another bad comic book movie adaptation. Here he played Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. But it was director Mark Steven Johnson who didn’t have the foggiest notion of what to do with this superhero tale. So maybe Favreau learned what NOT to do by observing Johnson at work here. More »

'Elf' (2003)

Elf
Elf. © New Line Cinema

Favreau took the helm but did not write this Will Ferrell comedy about an oversized elf on the road to self-discovery. The film proved to Hollywood that Favreau could work in the mainstream. Favreau has a cameo as the doctor and provides the voice of the narwhal.

'Iron Man' (2008)

Iron Man
Iron Man. © Paramount Home Entertainment

With this film Favreau delivered one of the best comic book movies of all time. He had the perfect actor in Robert Downey, Jr. to play Tony Stark and he approached the story with a fresh, spontaneous indie feel. He said he wanted it to feel like Robert Altman’s films with overlapping and improvised dialogue. The action may have left a little to be desired but the film had energy and a nice focus on character. Smart, funny, and loads of fun.

'Iron Man 2' (2010)

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2. © Paramount Pictures

Sequels rarely do better than their predecessors but is poised to at least live up to the original. Favreau did have to deal with replacing Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey, but the important thing is that Robert Downey, Jr. is back as Tony Stark. Mickey Rourke (as Whiplash!), Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johansson are welcome additions to the cast. Favreau, as in the first film, has a cameo.

Bonus Pick: Cowboys and Aliens (2011) - Favreau takes the helm again for the promising tale of Apaches and settlers joining together when an alien craft crash lands in their neck of the woods.

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Accomando, Beth. "10 Films with - or from - Actor/Writer/Director Jon Favreau." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/jon-favreau-movies-2432028. Accomando, Beth. (2017, March 2). 10 Films with - or from - Actor/Writer/Director Jon Favreau. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jon-favreau-movies-2432028 Accomando, Beth. "10 Films with - or from - Actor/Writer/Director Jon Favreau." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jon-favreau-movies-2432028 (accessed November 23, 2017).