What MCU Director Jon Favreau Thinks Robert Downey Jr. Should Do Post-‘Iron Man’

Marvel Cinematic Universe pioneering director Jon Favreau has a lot on his plate. With his role in this summer’s blockbuster Spider-Man: Far From Home, directing the live-action remake of The Lion King, launching his cooking series The Chef Show on Netflix, and already planning season two of The Mandalorian, a Star Wars TV series scheduled to premiere on Nov. 12 on the new Disney+ streaming service, no one has to worry about Favreau’s employment status post-Marvel.

Jon Favreau | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The actor-writer-director-producer recently spoke to the Hollywood Reporter on a host of topics, including how he feels about acting in the MCU films, his thoughts on opening a restaurant, and what he recommends his Iron Man lead to start doing post-superhero.

From film to foodie

In 2014, Favraeu wrote, co-produced, directed, and starred in the film Chef. He said he created the movie due to his “obsession with chef culture [that] connected with a story I was kicking around about fatherhood and divorce and recapturing creative passion,” according to an article he wrote for the Los Angeles Times.

The film inspired his Netflix series The Chef Show with renowned culinary king Roy Choi. Now that Favreau has made a name for himself in the food space, fans are wondering if he’ll be opening a restaurant anytime soon. “I have to talk Roy Choi into it and he’s too pragmatic. But you will see a restaurant at some point from me,” Favreau told the Hollywood Reporter. “Restaurants are great, but even when they’re hugely successful, what do the chefs end up doing? They go into either merchandising or they become TV personalities. That’s how you monetize being a great chef. You don’t make the French Laundry twice as big; that’s not how you scale. I draw inspiration from that. I want to have an eight-seat ramen bar where I’m there behind the counter. I don’t scale well.”

A penchant for acting

Favreau has a list of acting credits to his name, from his indie film Swingers to his appearances in several Marvel movies. The now big-time director even has a history with the iconic NBC show sitcom Friends. According to Marie Claire, he was offered the role of Chandler Bing (which was later given to Matthew Perry), but turned it down so he could concentrate on making Swingers. Favreau ended up taking on a guest role as Pete Becker, a wealthy businessman who was romantically pursuing Monica (played by Courtney Cox).

When asked by the Hollywood Reporter if he was going to continue taking on acting roles, he confirmed that being in front of the camera is something he still enjoys. “I love doing that. And I learn because I get to be on other peoples’ sets,” Favreau said. “When I get to see the Russo brothers direct, it’s great. When I get to be on Jon Watts’ set for Spider-Man, I had more fun in his last Spider-Man than in any movie role I can remember.”

RDJ’s next step

Favreau forged a strong partnership with actor Robert Downey Jr. when the pair launched the Marvel franchise with Iron Man in 2008. After several films together, Favreau knows exactly what challenge Downey should take on after life as a superhero. “I don’t know what he’s thinking, but he better direct. Otherwise, I’m not going to be his friend anymore,” he said. “He’s the star of the biggest movie of all time. He did it. So now, you better do stuff you love. Because if you can’t do what you love, how are you going to inspire everybody else out there who’s climbing that ladder?”

The director sang Downey’s praises as someone who has the versatility that’s needed to be a successful director. “He has a lot of passion. He’s an artist: He understands visual art, he understands music. I think he would be a hell of a director. I hope I get to have a part if he ever decides to direct because I want to show him what it felt like when I was directing him. I want to give him the other side of that equation,” Favreau told the Hollywood Reporter.

With Favreau’s many projects in the works and Downey now solidified as a movie legend, the two are sure to stay firmly on the path of success.