/ december 2005:
MOVIE PREVIEW: Jon Favreau
He redefined cool in Swingers, made a movie about Santa's Elf, and regularly has Dinner For Five, but now he's headed into outer space, and he's taking a house with him.
profiles by Benyamin Cohen & Bradford R. Pilcher
1996, if you mentioned reality television, Google, or
the name Jon Favreau, people would think you're from
outer space. And that’s exactly where the Queens-born
actor/writer/director will be taking movie audiences
this winter with his latest film, Zathura,
about two young brothers who are drawn into an intergalactic
adventure when their house is magically hurtled through
The family-friendly flick (Favreau has two children
with wife Joya) is a far cry from his indie beginnings
when, along with writing pal Vince Vaughn, they broke
into the mainstream’s consciousness with 1996’s Vegas
road trip film Swingers. After that, as they
so eloquently stated in the movie, it was all money.
Hollywood’s doors opened up to Favreau and he was cast
in major roles in such films as The Replacements,
Rudy, and Deep Impact. But for the
39-year-old Favreau, he really only felt comfortable
behind the camera. So, in 2003, he did what any good
Jewish boy would do: He directed a feel-good Christmas
movie called Elf. It did huge at the box office
and he’s now in talks for a sequel.
But don’t fret, fellow members of the tribe. Favreau
has a project up his sleeve just for you. For practically
the last decade, he’s been hard at work with buddy Vaughn
on a screenplay called The Marshal of Revelation,
a western about a Chassidic Jewish gunfighter seeking
revenge after a Russian Cossack kills his family.
“The film has led me on a personal journey to become more involved in my religion,” says Favreau, who told us that he’s now attending his Santa Monica synagogue on a weekly basis. “Now that I have two kids, I recognize my mortality and the presence of God more.”
Meanwhile, those wanting to fill up on Favreau now can
spend Friday night dinner with him each week. He hosts
four fellow celebrities to talk shop with him on his
popular IFC show, Dinner for Five. T “What’s
interesting, I think, is that we’re creating a different
dynamic in which to see people that you already know.
It’s the same reason that people like to see, you know,
Heidi Fleiss boxing Paula Jones,” he says. “They want
to see people in a different atmosphere.”
Release date: November 11
If you'd like to comment on this article, email
us a Letter to the Editor.