Quint chats up Jon Favreau!!! ZATHURA! D45! And More!
Published at: July 29, 2005, 5:33 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a little chat that I had with Jon Favreau during Comic-Con about his Sci-Fi family flick, ZATHURA. This one on one interview was kind of last minute, so forgive the lack of real structure. I think the chat came off rather well. We cover ZATHURA, the Con presentation (we talked right after he presented the long clip and the new trailer to the 6500 people in Hall H) and Dinner For Five. Oh, and in case you're wondering Favreau's butch look is for a role he has in Vince Vaughn's THE BREAK UP, with Jennifer Aniston and Vaughn, directed by Peyton "I Should Have Directed Fantastic Four" Reed. Favreau plays an old meat-head friend of Vaughn's, hence the goatee and buzz cut.
Anyway, on with the chat! Enjoy!
QUINT: So, how'd you like the reaction to the clip at the panel? You showed a whole lot of the movie...
JON FAVREAU: I showed a lot of the movie. Why not? It came out good... You were there when we were shooting this part... I think we were looking at the robot stuff. Yeah! That was exactly what you saw!
QUINT: Yep, it was good to see the scene finished.
JON FAVREAU: I mean, it's still in preview form. We're still tweaking it up a bit.
QUINT: Really? It looked the most complete out of any of the advance stuff we've been shown at the Con.
JON FAVREAU: Well, part of it was that so much of it was practical that you had to get there with it... It would have looked weird to have a real robot running with gray legs.
The whole thing, I mean... it's testing well and the studio is really excited about it. You know, movies don't start that way. You know, they start with, "Should we greenlight it, should we not greenlight it? How much is it going to cost? Who's going to be in it? Let's see the script... I don't know?" It's always the nature of the way a studio approaches a project is they're always sort of on the fence about everything. "Make it cost this much less. Do this. Cast this person."
They really gave me all the latitude I needed on it. It was very good to work with them. Now they saw it with an audience and the kids dig it, the grown ups dig it and you're like, "Ugh... Thank God." 'Cause you put so much work into a movie and if it doesn't work there's nothing you can do. This movie... if it didn't work we couldn't change anything. We were so efficient in what we shot and what we put together.
QUINT: Guillermo (Navarro, director of photography)'s work looks fantastic.
JON FAVREAU: Yeah. We should have a finished print soon. We're doing work on the music now...
QUINT: Who's scoring?
JON FAVREAU: (John) Debney again. The guy who did ELF. He was just in Italy doing a PASSION OF THE CHRIST concert. He did that little movie between then and now, too.
QUINT: ELF and Jesus... He loves Christmas.
JON FAVREAU: I guess he had a piece of that, you know? He's working on this one for very reasonable rates because he had such a windfall between then and now. What else can I tell ya', Quint? Dinner For Five? Do you like that?
QUINT: I love Dinner For Five...
JON FAVREAU: Did you hear what happened? We got nominated (for an Emmy).
QUINT: When did they announce that?
JON FAVREAU: Two days ago. It was the one year when I didn't pay attention to it...
QUINT: Man, you start getting all the noms right when you bring in guest hosts and disappear for a couple of episodes...
JON FAVREAU: Well, I was busy with this, but guest hosting was also... Well, a guy like Kevin Smith, that was such an easy one. He's such a personality and he'd been on the show a couple of times. He's such an uncensored guy anyway that that's what you want for the show. And he brought great guests. Jason Lee is somebody we've always wanted to have and to bring on Stan Lee and Mark Hamill. I woulda never thought to bring them on. He picked the whole thing.
QUINT: Now you just need to get Harrison Ford on the show and you'll have landed the trinity.
JON FAVREAU: That's right... we've gotten Carrie Fisher, twice.
QUINT: She's so great, so funny to see speak candidly.
JON FAVREAU: She is. You have no idea how huge that was for us, for a little show like that. It's so much work... You know, it's like a little floating crap game floating from restaurant to restaurant. It's a small little production. And when I started doing it it was a big part of my career because I was workin' on... We were releasing the DVD of MADE, I think... we were getting that ready right as we started the show. Since then ELF happened and I got really, really busy, so we were still trying to find time to do the show and then to have that (the Emmy nom) happen in the fourth season was just... It was really, really cool.
QUINT: Well, the show can always be fresh, that's the great thing about the show. It's not like a sit-com where you can run out of material for the characters. You can mix and match celebrities and Hollywood personalities for infinity. Every episode has a different chemistry.
JON FAVREAU: If you can get good guests. If you don't jump the shark. Every season we're like, "Have we done it all? Have we done everything we can do? Are we just going to repeat ourselves?" And then this happens and it's like... Wow... that really blew some wind into our sails. It really did.
Did you see where we landed on the JUMANJI thing, by the way? "A New Adventure From the World of JUMANJI."
QUINT: Yeah, I noticed that in the new trailer.
JON FAVREAU: We didn't have anything to do with JUMANJI when we screened it and everybody was like, "You ripped off JUMANJI!" People really like JUMANJI and they remember it. Although look at the CG in that thing... You can see it was the beginning of... Yeah. But the images were still... the stuff coming through the bookcase and all that stuff... There's something very elemental about it.
But when we didn't say anything about JUMANJI, everybody accused us of ripping it off, so that's where we landed.
QUINT: I remember on the set you were telling me how you wanted to keep JUMANJI as far away from the project as possible.
JON FAVREAU: I know! But when you take it away from JUMANJI it had the backlash of people thinking it wasn't related in any way. It's the same author and the same, basic, premise. That's where we landed. Do you think we walked the line well?
QUINT: "From the world of JUMANJI" sounds fine to me. You'll still get the mouth-breathers who won't be able to wrap their heads around it, but I'd hope they are only a small group...
JON FAVREAU: What's a mouth-breather?
[I put a dumb look on my face (not a challenge, I know) and open my maw wide and begin breathing heavily]
JON FAVREAU: (laughs) Well, it's tricky, 'cause if they're expecting a sequel they're like, "Where's Robin Williams? What is this? SON OF THE MASK?"
QUINT: Oooo... Not a good...
JON FAVREAU: No, that's exactly the problem. It's 10 years later... You've gotta be very, very careful, you know?
QUINT: Well, now you're going to have to go back and reshoot to put Robin Williams in the movie before there's a revolt...
JON FAVREAU: Well, we can still... CG... we'll do some face replacement on Dax Shepard!
Well, there you have it, squirts. Now you know a little bit more about Jon Favreau than you did before. The studio is wedging ZATHURA between HARRY POTTER and NARNIA, so I hope it doesn't get lost in the shuffle... I like what I've seen so far. Favreau was able to make ELF fun for more than just the 5 year olds in the audience and it looks like he's doing the same with ZATHURA.
I have a couple more interviews for you folks, including talks with the peeps from THE FOG and GHOST RIDER, that should be up for your reading pleasure very soon, so keep an eye on the site for those. Until then, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.