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Jon Favreau on “Iron Man”: not indie, but still edgy

April 30, 2008

favreau.jpgDirector Jon Favreau, whose new movie “Iron Man” debuts in theaters this week as the first big-budget Hollywood movie of the summer season, has long championed low-budget and independent filmmaking. His career took off as an actor and writer of 1996 indie movie “Swingers.”

Indie movies generally are low-budget films confined to art houses. They are known for being “edgy,” which is another way of saying they push boundaries in terms of subject matter and creativity. “Iron Man,” starring Robert Downey, Jr.,  is anything but low-budget and indie. It was produced by Marvel Studios and is being distributed by major studio Paramountfavreau2.jpg Pictures.

Still, a lot is being made about Favreau bringing an indie feel to “Iron Man.” We asked him how can he still claim to be “indie” after making movies with big stars such as Will Ferrell in “Elf” and huge special effects such as “Zathura: A Space Adventure.” Favreau’s answer: he can’t. But in the proper context, he can still be edgy.

“I think that you start off as an indie guy because your voice is very different from the mainstream and you’re young and you don’t have any money to make anything. So you’re forced into being an independent moviemaker. It’s your only way in the door,” Favreau told Reuters.

“I was an independent filmmaker because that was the only way in. It wasn’t like I felt like my point-of-view was so different. But what has happened over the last 10 years, as the audience has changed, we are now the mainstream … As a filmmaker, I don’t feel lilke I’m the edgy guy doing the edgy dialogue anymore.

“There are other people with fresher voices coming up. They are the ones who are leading the groundbreaking front on the periphery of the film industry. I’m a suburban dad now. I can make a movie that’s really cool that I know my 6-year-old would love and I also know that my friends and family would love. I can do an edgy, different version of a superhero movie, but if I were to make a small movie now, I don’t know if I have the chops to do something that groundbreaking.”

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