Jon Favreau Prefers The Smaller Scale Of The Mandalorian Over Big Marvel Movies

With "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania," the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its 31st film in theaters. It's hard to believe that it was only in 2008 that director Jon Favreau brought us the first shot across the bow with "Iron Man." The film reintroduced the comic book character Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to the world and launched the MCU as we know it. Favreau directed "Iron Man 2" in 2010 and has continued to produce films and appear as Happy Hogan in the years since it all began, but he stepped away from directing Marvel flicks. 

Since that time, Jon Favreau has brought us the greatest gift: Grogu and his adventures with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). Favreau created the Disney+ series "The Mandalorian," and directed the first episode of season 2. With the third season set to arrive next month, Favreau spoke to Empire magazine for the April 2023 issue about the further adventures of the clan of two. In the interview, he was asked about moving from the MCU to the Star Wars universe, reminding him that he's said in the past that he left after "Iron Man 2" because it "was becoming a much bigger sandbox." They asked if that made him think twice about getting involved with another giant franchise. Favreau had a lot to say about the scale of the productions and the variety of viewing experiences for the audience.

' ... the nature of my relationship changed'

Favreau said he enjoyed staying involved as Happy Hogan and added of the MCU, "I'm still very close with all those people. But the nature of my relationship changed because it went from me being with a small group, creating a story, to something that was going to fit into something much bigger."

I spoke to Favreau about the first "Iron Man" film during a junket for 2008's "Wild West Comedy Show" before the MCU film even came out. After the chat, he followed me out of the room to tell me that he was surprised I (or anyone else) remembered who Iron Man was. The character wasn't really in the zeitgeist back then. No one knew what would happen with the film, and it's unlikely that many people could have envisioned what we have now. Back then, it was an experiment. The team was much smaller, as he told Empire. That seems to be what he's more comfortable with. He told the publication: 

"Different people have different things that they're good at. And for me, there's a certain scale that I'm most comfortable in. What's nice about 'The Mandalorian' is that I'm able to keep it at the scale that my creative process can accommodate. I love this form of storytelling, where you can come in, tell a story, and it fits into a longer thread."

It's obviously worked beautifully, staying where he feels he can work best. "The Mandalorian" fits seamlessly into the "Star Wars" universe. When we watch the bigger films again, there is always an awareness now about how the big events affect the everyday person, giving it more depth.

'That's what the challenge here is'

"The Mandalorian" has really been a revelation in the "Star Wars" universe. It's a smaller story in a corner of the galaxy that impacts the epic narrative that began in 1977, and that's the beauty of it. It's low fantasy, where a tale concentrates on the development of the characters, as opposed to the high fantasy (with world-ending stakes) of the larger universe. It lets us learn more about what people outside of the main plotline are doing, how they're coping with the Empire's ups and downs, and how all of this affects individual beings. 

Favreau also spoke about the challenge of the wide range of stories for different age groups, citing how the "Star Wars" universe can have a show like "Andor" for adults or "Skeleton Crew" for the young cast. "How does it all fit together? The first 'Star Wars' felt very innocent and really spoke to me as a young audience member, but you could draw dotted lines between that and 'Rogue One,' and it all fits together. That's what the challenge here is."

"The Mandalorian" season 3 will begin streaming on Disney+ on March 1, 2023.