The Jungle Book Director, Jon Favreau Talks About His Latest Movie

The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau.
The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau.

AUSSIE movie audiences are a polite bunch, according to The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau.

The guy behind the Iron Man films popped into Sydney to screen his latest movie, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s books.

Introducing the film, he remembered in 2008 when he and Robert Downey Jr previewed Iron Man to a non-reactive crowd.

“Everyone was so polite, they just watched the movie quietly,” Favreau said.

He said he and Downey Jr thought it was a bad sign.

“Don’t be polite this time,” he said.

After the film, Favreau discussed its making, which took three years to get to the big screen.

Opening with some behind the scenes trivia, he said a book that appears in the closing credits was the original used in the 1967 animated film.

“The 1967 film begins with a book opening up which takes us into the story,” he said.

“I wanted to use the same book so we dug into the archives and a guy showed up with white gloves and no one was allowed to touch it but him.”

The lengthy filming process allowed him to actualise his vision, which was to fill every frame with detail.

“I wanted to pack the movie like a MAD Magazine,” he said.

“I would study MAD Magazine from cover to cover; the margins were full of detail.

“I wanted to have something going on in every corner of the frame, there are treats everywhere.”

The session took a sombre turn when Favreau paid tribute to the late Garry Shandling, who died on March 24 and voiced a minor character in The Jungle Book.

“It has been a sad week for all of us,” he said.

“Garry was wonderful, very active behind the scenes and a tremendous genius.

“It is sad that he did not get to see the finished product.”

Having produced, written, directed and acted in films, Favreau attributed his successful career to surrounding himself with talented colleagues.

“Laziness and complacency are the biggest enemy,” he said.

“Humility and collaboration are the secret to an enduring career.”

The Jungle Book opens in cinemas April 14.