'Cowboys & Aliens' Jon Favreau is lassoing up everything
You may or may not head out to see Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens" this weekend, but you won't have to go very far to see Jon Favreau. Over the last month, the actor-filmmaker has been more omnipresent than the metallic wrist-device from his mash-up film.
Favreau is going above and beyond many of the promotional stops to tout his new effort. He recently guest-edited an issue of the Hollywood Reporter. On Wednesday night, he's directing an episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." He commissioned a "Cowboys & Aliens" spoof video from young filmmakers named Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch and starred in it himself (watch it below). And there's always Twitter, where in the last 24 hours Favreau has shot out eight tweets to his more than 1 million followers.
The director-as-celebrity is nothing new, of course. Orson Welles cultivated a certain aura, New Wave directors in the 1960s were sometimes more famous than the stars of their films, and in the 1990s Quentin Tarantino promoted his own celebrity with an up-from-the-video-store mythology. But the platforms are wider and the publicity opportunities greater now than they've ever been, which gives it all an amplified effect. And Favreau, perhaps as the result of his acting background, is certainly an anomaly these days, when many studio directors are hired hands, and those that aren't (eg, Christopher Nolan) tend to keep a lower profile.
Universal no doubt likes the extra push Favreau is giving the film. "Cowboys & Aliens" is not based on a widely known property, and it straddles genres, so every piece of exposure helps. At a certain point, though, it may be fair to ask how much seeing Jon Favreau will have people going out to see his movie and how much will just have them seeing more Jon Favreau.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Jon Favreau. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA