Favreau goes from 'Iron Man' to stainless steel food truck in new film

Sun Mar 9, 2014 7:40pm EDT
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By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Actor, director and screenwriter Jon Favreau traded the high-flying super hero antics of his "Iron Man" movies for a quieter new film about a celebrated chef who quits his job at a top-flight restaurant and takes to the road in a food truck.

"Chef," a small-budget, independent comedy with a big-name cast, including Iron Man veterans Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, made its premiere at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin this weekend.

It will open nationwide in the United States on May 9.

For Favreau, "Chef" helped cleanse his palate after directing the first two of the three Iron Man films, which have a combined world box office of more than $1 billion. The movie also comes ahead of what will likely be his next expensive project, an adaption of "The Jungle Book."

"If you are spending in excess of $100 million on something, you better make sure that you make that money back," Favreau told Reuters.

"When you are doing something for a fraction of that, the smaller you make the movie, the smaller the risk, and the more specific the audience can be."

His new movie is more of a personal story about a chef named Carl Casper pushed out of his kitchen due social media gaffes that spiral out of control and conflicts with the restaurant owner, played by Dustin Hoffman.

At the heart of the film is the troubled relationship between Casper and his son, who has been living with his mother after a divorce.   Continued...

Actor and director Jon Favreau arrives during the 66th annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas