Jon Favreau Signed "Insane" Lucasfilm Contract After Success of Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Following the success of The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau has been a constant presence in the world of Star Wars, standing alongside Dave Filoni as the creatives that most fans consider responsible for most of what comes to the small screen. According to a report at Puck, Favreau was originally only signed on for that first season of The Mandalorian, and after it exploded in popularity, he was able to leverage that to get an "insane" deal with Lucasfilm to stay on board. No details were offered, as the contract only came up in the larger context of analyzing Disney's streaming model.
The piece notes that Disney tends to be fairly tight-fisted when it comes to compensating their creatives. They have long had a reputation for paying less than other studios, and relying on the fact that they're Disney, so everyone wants to work with them, or on their properties. That mindset is only strenghtened by acquiring Star Wars and Marvel in the last decade or so.
According to the article, "Sure, there are exceptions. Favreau originally signed on to do just one season of The Mandalorian, so when it became Disney+'s signature series, he extracted an insane deal to continue, with all kinds of bonuses and incentives for writing or directing individual episodes. But I'm betting even Favreau doesn't get a cut of the show's merchandise revenue, meaning Disney likely doesn't share the windfall from my kid's many Baby Yoda T-shirts and PJs with the guy who, along with Filoni, actually created the character."
Puck is working on assumptions for that last part, and a rep for Favreau declined to comment for their story, but it's almost certainly true. George Lucas built his personal fortune by retaining control of the Star Wars merchandise during the original trilogy, but that's a trick that's unlikely to work again. Hollywood has admired Lucas's brilliance, and the short-sightedness of everyone else who could have had a cut of that cash, for decades.
Favreau is no stranger to big Disney deals, though. He directed the first two Iron Man films and then got The Jungle Book before The Mandalorian even came along, and then added The Lion King, making him one of the top-grossing directors in the studio's recent history. Sure, his films might not have made Infinity War and Endgame kind of money, but he has a more diverse portfolio of hits for the studio than almost anybody currently working there (at least until Taika Waititi and Kevin Feige get their Star Wars projects running).
Favreau is currently developing the third season of The Mandalorian, which is expected to air on Disney+ in late 2022.2comments