Jon Favreau chats about The Jungle Book filming process

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Director Jon Favreau came to the Apple Store in London last week to chat about The Jungle Book and I obviously had to go and check it out cos I’m a big fan of his acting/directing work – ever since he was the Ultimate Fighting Champion on Friends!

Jon turned up half an hour late, which is the latest someone has ever arrived at the Apple Store in my experience but he made up for it. He was so chatty – perhaps even a bit too chatty – he would spent five minutes answering every question by going off on many different tangents. He takes a very long time to answer questions but it was interesting to hear him speak and he clearly loves the film (which is amazing – see review) and was enthusiastic about it. He also had a great deal of advice for budding filmmakers.

Here are some interesting points from the Q&A:

  • Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, was found from more than 2,000 actors across the globe. They had made flyers because they still hadn’t found the right person, and Neel’s dance teacher recommended he try out for it so he sent in a tape – and the rest is history!
  • Jon only had Bill Murray in mind for Baloo but the actor is notoriously difficult to get hold of – he has no agents, he takes care of all the jobs himself and barely answers a phone. Jon left him a voicemail and Bill eventually got back simply agreeing to do it, and because there was not the usual agent back-and-forth, Jon feared he might not follow through. He called up Theodore Melfi, the director of Bill’s St. Vincent, and he reassured Jon that Bill will show up if he gives his word and he did! No company car, no fuss, just rolled up. What a legend!
  • Neel worked against puppets to help him imagine the animals
  • Jon already knew Bin Kingsley and Scarlett Johansson from the Iron Man films so it was easy to get them onboard
  • Bill Murray performed music Baloo’s song Bare Necessities live in New Orleans with the band
  • Walt Disney died in the making of the 1967 animated movie and Jon hopes he would be proud of the new version
  • Jon spent three years on the project and his main concerns were the tone, the emotion and the laughs. He got them all perfect!


Check out the pictures below.

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