SDCC 11: A Conversation with Jon Favreau and Del Toro


So this is basically amazing for me. These are two of my favorite filmmakers working right now, , Guillermo del Toro and Jon Favreau, and I get to watch them talk to one another. Check below the jump for some highlights from their conversation, which I’ll be updating live as I watch the conversation.

– Favreau took major inspiration from Del Toro. During the making of Zathura, he screened The Devil’s Backbone multiple times for the cast and crew.

– Del Toro maintains that, no matter what, he’ll always be a fan of film.

– Del Toro on Favreau’s use of stop motion in Elf “This motherfucker is intelligent!” They have great respect for one another for use of old-school effects work, as well as the computer effects.

– Both are doing Disneyland-related projects, and Favreau spoke at length about that. Disney seems to be really pushing to work with filmmakers to make these projects work, rather than just churning crap out. We’ll see about that. They also spoke about how much Walt Disney was a risk-taker and an innovator, doing a lot of stuff before anyone else, and they try to take inspiration from that. Magic Kingdom, from Favreau, is working to make all that Disney history work in a movie. Del Toro: “We also get to spend a shitload of time at the park.”

– Del Toro got to walk the Haunted Mansion ride, on foot, for three hours for research for Haunted Mansion. I am so goddamned jealous.

– Del Toro on working big properties. “These people get into these big properties for money or careers. You really need to have a boner for it, though. You’re not doing it right if you don’t have a chubbie.”

– Del Toro has literally pissed himself watching horror. Confirmed.

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark is, he hopes, a return to classic, scary, freaky haunted house movies. They showed us a brief clip, TV spot sized, and it’s looking quite cool. I can’t wait to see it.

– Favreau on practical vs. computer effects: “You use the puppet when you can and the computer thing when you have to. That’s becoming a lost art.” He cites Alien and Aliens as great pre-computer work and Alien Ressurection as how it doesn’t work.

– On Cowboys and Aliens, Favreau talks about how so many people don’t get this kind of high-concept sci-fi, and lambasts people that think it’s not OK to have cowboys fighting aliens, but they’re fine with Transformers.

– He really wanted the premier of Cowboys and Aliens be for the fans here at Comic Con, rather than at the usual Hollywood places, because these are the people that the movie’s made for.


– It was amazing.

– Favreau talks about that weird feeling filmmakers have when a film is about to release. Even directors like Spielberg, he says, doesn’t know what they have until they get the feedback for it.

– Del Toro talked for a little bit about the million projects he’s attached to. He talks about how they get announced so quickly, even before there’s much news to tell. All about the “age of the scoop,” he says.

Pacific Rim will have “giant fucking monsters.”

 Magic Kingdom‘s status: Favreau is working with Michael Chabon on the script. It’ll be more in development once Cowboys and Aliens releases.

– Jon Favreau has a cameo as a Thark in John Carter. Look for it next year.

– When asked about whether or not he’ll ever do At the Mountains of Madness, Del Toro said that, because the version he was working on was so great, he’ll continue to keep fighting to get it made, since he controls the property. He hopes he makes it, as it’s his Holy Grail, but he has no other details.

Look for more information on Pacific Rim tomorrow, and see our review of Cowboys and Aliens next week!