Considering his work directing and acting in the first two Iron Man films and now producing many of Disney’s upcoming Star Wars projects, you would think Jon Favreau would be absolutely swimming in cash from his work with the media powerhouse. But a new report about why Disney+ may have a huge weakness going forward in the streaming wars suggests the producer actually may have gotten denied something pretty integral from his contract for The Mandalorian. You’re probably not going to need to contribute to a GoFundMe so he can pay his rent, but he won’t be making George Lucas money either.
A report from Puck (via Comic Book) claims that Jon Favreau is not getting any cut from from the merchandising for The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett or any other Star Wars projects he’s developing for Disney. It was through the merchandising for the franchise, as Comic Book notes, that gave George Lucas the bulk of his wealth. While neither Puck nor Comic Book can confirm the details of Favreau’s deal, they argue it’s almost definitive that Favreau is denied any cut of the merchandise.
The weakness facing Disney in the streaming wars, Puck argues, is that it has a reputation for being one of the least generous studios when it comes to compensating its creatives; leading to the presumption that Jon Favreau almost definitely isn’t getting any merchandising money. At the same time, if this is a big detriment to Disney in its competition with other streaming giants like Netflix and HBO Max, it clearly hasn’t been too much of a burden. Last week, reports emerged that Disney+ was beginning to gain serious ground on the streaming leader, Netflix. In the final, fourth quarter of 2021, Disney+ gained 11.7 million new subscribers, as opposed to the 8.3 million new subscribers gained by Netflix.
Jon Favreau may not be making a couple of pennies off every Star Wars action figure sold, but according to Puck, there was some pretty good news related to his contract with Disney. Their story says that initially Disney only signed the producer for season 1 of The Mandalorian. Once the series became Disney+’s flagship show, Puck claims, Disney’s shortsightedness gave Favreau the leverage he needed to get a much sweeter deal for future seasons. Presumably, it didn’t hurt his deals for The Book of Boba Fett or Ahsoka either. Considering that when The Mandalorian was eventually usurped as Disney+’s most popular, it was another Favreau show — Boba Fett — that accomplished it, the producer’s value must only be growing in Disney’s eyes.
Of course, the fact that Jon Favreau will probably not be buying LucasFilm from Disney and renaming it FavreauFilm probably isn’t that big of a deal to the producer. His career in film began as an actor snagging side parts in films like Rudy, PCU, and Batman Forever. He’s since not only become one of the most acclaimed directors to ever have anything to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but 2008’s Iron Man remains one of the most commonly referenced films in discussions of whether or not superhero movies have as much artistic value as other kinds of cinema. At the same time he’s allowed to play in the Marvel sandbox, he’s been set loose in the Star Wars one as well. We’re guessing the guy’s doing just fine, all things considered.