Jon Favreau is a director who has made a lot of money and put together plenty of critically acclaimed films. Which means it is notable when one of his movies doesn't do so hot, which happened with Cowboys & Aliens, the 2011 flop that starred Daniel Craig and looked great in the previews, but wasn't a hit with audiences or critics alike when it hit theaters. Speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jon Favreau revealed how he felt when the movie didn't really resonate with people. Here's what he had to say.
I'm completely flummoxed when it's not exactly what I hoped it would be. With filmmaking, you have to be underwater with this thing: You're pitching it, then making it, then promoting. By the time it comes out, you've gone full speed down a one-way track. With Cowboys & Aliens, I was really bummed out.
It wasn't as if Cowboys & Aliens was the worst movie ever made or anything. It won't go down in history as one of the biggest bombs in film, and it even made a modest $175 million at the worldwide box office, although it cost $163 million to produce before advertising, which isn't exactly great. The movie is also running at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes--again not great, but not dismal either. However, when you compare the numbers and the acclaim for Cowboys & Aliens to the other films Jon Favreau has directed, including The Jungle Book, Chef, Iron Man 2 and others, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Still, if you are going to have one notable flop, you really could do worse than Cowboys & Aliens, even if it was a rather expensive movie to have not do so hot.
Favreau also revealed at the festival (via Deadline) that he spent a lot of the summer just moping around by the pool after Cowboys & Aliens was released. The movie was out in July, giving him a fair amount of time in which to mope. Jon Favreau said he spent a lot of time with his kids after that movie came out, noting:
By the end of the summer, I was so tan. I would look in the mirror and I'd say, 'I'm going out to the pool a lot.'
It's hard to compare that version of Jon Favreau with the one we've seen more recently, when he made a surprisingly huge hit out of the live action remake of The Jungle Book. He's next set to direct The Lion King and The Jungle Book 2, so he'll be firmly in the Disney live action camp for a while. Although he's also directing the Young Sheldon pilot over at CBS, so you'll get to see him briefly shine on TV, as well. It's clear at this point that Favreau got over the hump that was Cowboys & Aliens and we are definitely looking forward to what he does next.