Jon Favreau talks returning to indies for ‘Chef’ and starting work on ‘Jungle Book’

AUSTIN – It's appropriate that the backdrop of HitFix's interview with Jon Favreau was a kitchen in one of Austin's hotspots Qui, “Top Chef” star Paul Qui's new biz on the East Side.

Favreau's new indie film “Chef” centers on character Carl Casper and his literal tastemaking for a brick-and-mortar restaurant; after a series of outbursts online against critics and the hot spot's owner, Chef Carl ends up launching a food truck, sending it through Miami, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles. With stops like those, it's no wonder the film wanders into blissful, unapologetic food pornography, and ties into “celebrity chef” cultures like Qui's.

Favreau was on hand at South By Southwest, taking questions about grilled cheese, his turns on Marvel movies like “Iron Man” and “The Avengers” and getting back into independent and smaller films.

“I like [working on] the big stuff,” he told us. “The critics have been good to me.” But he relishes in comments from viewers on their admiration for films like “Swingers,” “Rudy” and “Elf.”

The writer/director/producer/actor also mentioned he's “full steam ahead” in casting for Disney's live-action adaptation of “the Jungle Book” for 2015, which he'll direct with help using “all the new technology toys.”

Watch the full interview with the “Chef” star, writer and director from the fest. “Chef” co-stars John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson and more.