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Why Iron Man Director Jon Favreau Didn’t Play Chandler Bing in FRIENDS Instead of Matthew Perry

Jon Favreau's integral ties with NBC sitcom, Friends

Jon Favreau is currently one of the most celebrated directors in Hollywood, enjoying his A-list status and $60 million worth. His career has spanned from the ’90s and his comedic and innovative arc put him on the map with projects like Swingers (1996), Elf (2003), The Lion King (2019), and most importantly, Iron Man (2008). But a small hitch regarding the NBC sitcom FRIENDS casting could’ve changed it all.


Also read: 35 Jokes From F.R.I.E.N.D.S That Are Funny Even After 17 Years

Jon Favreau’s Wildly Diverse Hollywood Filmography

As brilliant on the screen as behind the lens, the actor, chef, screenwriter, and filmmaker, Jon Favreau found fame with his breakout screenplay of the 1996 buddy comedy and romance film, Swingers. The film which went on to launch Vince Vaughn alongside him proved to be the career-defining start of the filmmaker who would go on to launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe 12 years later.

Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau

Also read: “You need an environment of respect”: Robert Downey Jr. Revealed Jon Favreau Improvised Everything in Iron Man, Left a Lot of People “Frustrated”

Iron Man was a mile marker, and everything Jon Favreau did or does is defined by before and after the Robert Downey Jr. movie. His epic and adorable Christmas movie, Elf (2003) starring Will Ferrell is nothing short of a classic and grows only more memorable with time. And the 2019 Disney musical, The Lion King has proved his mastery over making an already beloved classic somehow even more successful.

But his career doesn’t end with comic book movies and feel-good classics. Favreau went on to revive the dying Star Wars franchise with the ubiquitously loved and critically acclaimed series, The Mandalorian. 

Also read: Jon Favreau Confirms The Mandalorian Will Return for Fourth Season

Jon Favreau’s Role on the ’90s Famed Sitcom, FRIENDS

It wasn’t without reason that the esteemed director went down the path of filmmaking rather than actively pursuing acting. The NBC sitcom that redefined the genre and became a beloved homestay for the better part of the ’90s, i.e. FRIENDS had almost snagged Jon Favreau in a major role as one of the lead cast members. Luckily for him (and us), the casting committee had other plans that favored the ever-charming Matthew Perry.

Jon Favreau appears as Pete Becker in Friends
Jon Favreau appears as Pete Becker in Friends

Also read: Friends: Each MC & Who They Should Have Been With Instead Of The Actual Pairing

However, Jon Favreau did return to the set of the beloved sitcom for a short stay and ended up delivering one of the most memorable arcs in the entire series spanning 10 seasons. He went on to portray Pete Becker, a millionaire that Monica Geller dated who was the perfect partner in every imaginable way before unraveling over his obsession with achieving the titular honor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Favreau starred in 6 episodes throughout the third season, beginning with The One With the Hypnosis Tape and ending with The One With the Ultimate Fighting Champion. 

The complete season of FRIENDS is available for streaming on Netflix.

Source: Booms Beat

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.