September 8th, 2020—Longtime Stranded Contributor Wilfred Moeschter lands an exclusive interview with the infamous Disney director Jon Favreau discussing his latest live action reboot: Finding Nemo. Take a look at what the director had to say about his actors, eating with his actors, eating his actors, and his new take on a Pixar classic:
The Strand: Jon, your live action Finding Nemo has made quite a splash! Almost $85 million in the worldwide box office this weekend. Were you expecting this much success?
Jon Favreau: Well, after our live action versions of The Jungle Book and The Lion King went so well, the Disney Pictures president and I knew that a live action Disney universe would rip Marvel a new one, and that’s just what happened! [laughs]
TS: [laughs] Very true, one more asshole, not counting Robert Downey Jr. Why haven’t Disney come up with any original stories since the live-action craze took off?
JF: Well, y’know, after people started complaining about a lack of diversity, and then when we do something diverse like Moana, they complain about cultural appropriation, we decided that it was just easier not to involve people at all. Who knows, maybe there will be a fish president some day and we’re just ahead of the diversity curve! More likely than an Asian president anyways [laughs]. Shit, is that out of order? Sorry.
TS: What prompted your decision to work with real animals instead of CGI?
JF: Well, CGI is expensive, y’know? I remember with The Jungle Book, we had to pay Christopher Walken god knows how much to talk like himself, and then animate the stupid monkey around his voice? Hell, no. With real fish actors, it was easier to just film them, and dub the voices on top without needing any sort of effects.
TS: Some critics say that since The Lion King in 2018, you and Disney have only committed to the live action remakes to make money. What are your thoughts?
JF: I mean, they’re not wrong. People love watching the classics, right? That’s why we have A Bug’s Life coming up next.
TS: Tell us more about that.
JF: It’s been real tough finding insect actors. There are a lot more restrictions, but luckily not too much paperwork. The great thing is, we don’t have to pay them. So, like sweatshops but better! [laughs] Luckily the animals don’t mind.
TS: What have been the biggest challenges of filming with animals?
JF: Well, re-casting took quite a while after one of our cameramen stepped on a nest and killed every actor in A Bug’s Life. Luckily nobody was on the payroll, amirite? Finding Nemo was easier to cast, since I have experience working with fish from Chef, a stellar movie by the way. Admittedly, I was only eating the fish during that movie. The fish just kinda swam around though—they were good actors when they weren’t crapping everywhere. If you remember, we had to ditch Ratatouille because rats are just fucking stupid and can’t actually cook. After that, we just decided to stop working with mammals altogether.
TS: Any closing thoughts for our readers?
JF: We’ve started casting for Cars, so look out for that! We don’t feel like blowing $100 million on effects when we can find vehicle actors ourselves. We might just paint eyes and a mouth onto my Prius.
Catch Finding Nemo opening in theaters on September 12, 2020!