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Episode 515

Nerdist Podcast

Jon Favreau

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Nerdist Podcast: Jon Favreau

The amazing Jon Favreau not only listens to The Nerdist, he’s now a guest on it! He, Chris and Jonah nerd out over their favorite TV shows, his career path since Swingers, the immense work that went into creating and directing the Iron Man movies, and his new movie Chef!

See Chef in theaters this Friday May 9th!

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44 comments

  • Chris, and anyone else who’s interested, here’s a fun little fact about The Jungle Book; there were actually two versions of it during production. The version overseen by Walt Disney, and the first, darker version. (I’ll try and keep this as brief as I can.)

    Bill Peet was the story man who brought The Jungle Book to the attention of Walt. Having come to the studio during the production of Pinocchio, Peet had become the person Walt trusted the animation department with as his attention turned more to live-action, television, and the amusement parks. Trusting Peet, Walt greenlit The Jungle Book as the next animation film after The Sword and the Stone. As production on Stone was ending, Peet started outlining and storyboarding Jungle Book, enlisting Terry Gilkyson to write the score. Everything was all fine and dandy, and everyone, including Walt, was impressed with the work he was doing.

    And then The Sword and the Stone came out, and it was thought, by Walt at least, that it was missing the Disney touch. Looking closer at Peet’s vision of The Jungle Book, he saw that it was fairly close to the books, it had a darker tone, and it too was missing the Disney touch. Feeling like he had let animation get away from him, Walt decided to dive back into it and, when he and Peet couldn’t agree on what the film would be, the two parted ways, both professionally and personally. (The two never made up before Walt’s death, but Peet had nothing but good things to say about Walt in his autobiography,)

    At this time, Terry Gilkyson also left the project, so Walt brought in a new story team, and The Sherman Brothers, to work with him on the film. At the first story meeting, Walt held up a copy of the book and said “Have any of you boys read this?” When nobody raised their hand, Richard Sherman sheepishly did and said “I think I saw a movie called The Jungle Book years ago with Sabu.” “Yeah, but have you read the book?” When nobody raised their hand again, Walt said “Good. I don’t want you too. Here is the story I want to tell.” He then proceeded to, as he had countless times in the past, act out the entire story himself, embodying every character. (I think Walt later said during during one of his last story-meeting, he said “Gee, I forgot how much fun this could be!”) At the end of this meeting, as the Sherman Bros. were leaving to start on the new score, Walt turned to them and said, “Oh, by the way boys, there’s a song Gilkyson wrote that everyone really like and I want to keep in. Is that okay?” As he was Walt f’ing Disney, it was.

    That song was The Bare Necessities, and it went on to to get an Oscar nomination.

  • Oh, and also the vultures were going to be voiced by The Beatles at one point, but the idea was axed by someone related to the group (I’ve heard either their manager or John Lennon) nixed the idea, and Walt had “That’s What Friends are For,” which had been rewritten as a Beatles style song, turned back into a barbershop quartet song so it wouldn’t date the picture too much.

  • Wait, you had Gutter from PCU and Bruce Gutter in the same room and this didn’t happen:

    Boss: Where’s the cocaine?
    Bruce: In the ba-ack.
    Boss: Well, where the hell’s Gutter?
    Bruce: Pro-obably in a pa-arking lot somewhere pi-icking his no-ose.
    [cut to Gutter in a parking lot somewhere picking his nose]

    Excuse me, but can you blow me where the pampers is?

  • That was simply amazing. I was hooked in the first ten minutes. Jon was so incredibly genuine, energetic, and passionate. The weird nuggets of knowledge shows how much he just loves life, movies, tv, and things like that. Super grounded. I want to be friends with him so much now, just to sit around and talk super nerdy about movies and tv.

  • I could listen to Mr. Favreau talk all day. If he did a podcast I’d sign up right now. His conversations with other filmakers are SO interesting. Big fan.

    Also in case he reads these I really enjoy Cowboys and Aliens. I dressed up as the Daniel Craig character for Halloween. I made the wrist gun out of foam and LED lights and everyone thought i was Indiana Jones hahaha. Oh well!

  • Ok, 1) don’t let anyone discourage you from using the word delightful. It is a wonderful word, it is obviously a high compliment coming from you and Favreau was truly delightful.

    B) I feel like such a bitch for hating on Cowboys v Aliens! I was one of those people that just didn’t get it. Ironically a few months later I discovered Firefly and was immediately a Browncoat. Anyways, I doubt Jon will look at these comments, but I just want to apologize for my blatant disregard of his hard work on that movie.

    Tres, Oh my gosh he listens to the podcast! I’m always so happy for you guys when you get some recognition :)

    Lastly, I can’t wait to see Chef. It sound fun and I’ll remember to go to dinner first.

  • Loved the episode, and was riveted the whole time – it was better than Return of the King. Why? Because like the last of the Lord of the Rings movies, it had about 3 false stops when you think it is wrapping up, and suddenly, 10 more minutes. Only I wanted to hear more.

  • My question is- Will we ever get to see mutants and the Avengers appear on screen together? That’s all I want to see. Perhaps someday Spiderman becoming an Avenger?

  • People always clamor over Harrison Ford but he absolutely comes off as an arrogant dick. Even Favs is saying you have to ‘do something’ to get him to open up and speak. Screw that. Compare the affability of the Hanks interview with that teeth-pulling exercise from last year. Chris, was totally waiting for you to jump on favs and say “I’m sorry, he may have been nice to you but your a name director and he basically took a shit on the Nerdist table when he came in to mumble about Ender’s Game and how much money they dangled in front of him. Enough hate, love the new look! 

  • I’m so happy Favs is back making smaller movies, and being in front of the camera again.
    Seeing him bee effortlessly hilarious in his small role in I LOVE YOU, MAN reminded me of how great he is to watch.

  • Dinner for five was super fantastic. David Milch is one of the fun ones, could listen to that dude all day. Peter Dinklage was super entertaining as well

  • Holy cow. My new favorite. So much talk! I was interested in literally everything he was talking about. I will be listening to this one again for sure. What a fascinating person. This one should be filed in the banks of the “Best of Nerdist” for sure.

  • am sorry but why cant I go back and see the older pod cast like 514 /513/ 512 yes I see the wendi mc lendon and alex trebeck but I don’t see a way to go back to the older ones. plese  snif …sob.. fix this…….

  • So basically you think comic book movies are better when they lean towards the sensibilities of the Dane Cook crowd. The crowd that misses the fact that some of the grittier entries in the genre are far more cleaver with their comedic touch.