Culture & Lifestyle
Published August 24, 2019

D23 Expo 2019: Robert Downey Jr., Ming-Na Wen, and Jon Favreau Are The Newest Disney Legends

2019’s Disney Legends Ceremony inducts Marvel heroes!

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Legend is a word not to be taken lightly; it’s a high mark of honor and Robert Downey Jr., Ming-Na Wen, and Jon Favreau are already regarded as Marvel legends to fans around the world.

Yesterday, they were officially honored along with nine others, at the D23 Expo Disney Legends ceremony hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. The Disney Legends Awards program is a 32-year tradition, honoring those who have made remarkable contributions to the Disney legacy.

Kickstarting the MCU ten years ago, Robert Downey Jr. took on the now iconic role of Tony Stark. His Iron Man is known throughout the world, leading the way earlier this year to breaking box office records in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame.

After a one-of-a-kind hilarious thank you speech that could only come from the mind of Robert Downey Jr., Downey thanked his loved ones and fans for their support in making him the legend that he is today.

Joining Downey on stage was the inimitable Ming-Na Wen. Her role as Agent Melinda May, aka “The Cavalry,” on the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to be a fan-favorite as the show heads into its final season.

Making her big screen debut in the adaptation of Amy Tan’s book, The Joy Luck Club, Wen was also the voice of Fa Mulan in the 1998 Disney animated movie, Mulan. Over the years, she continued to delight fans by returning to the role in an animated sequel, video games Kingdom Hearts II and Disney Infinity, on television’s House of Mouse and Sofia the First, and in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Thanking the fans, an emotional Wen reflected on her career and acknowledged her mother as the inspiration for all the strong female characters she’s played over the years.

Wen’s television projects are incomparable, with voice work in Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb, Disney XD’s Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Milo Murphy’s Law, Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, as well as a recurring role in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat.

If Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man kicked off the MCU, Jon Favreau was the arc reactor-like catalyst. Directing and producing 2008’s Iron Man, he followed it up two years later in 2010 with Iron Man 2. In those movies and many more, he made appearances as Tony Stark’s loyal bodyguard, Happy Hogan.

As an executive producer for the Marvel Studios, Favreau holds credits on such films as Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

Favreau started off by thanking his Disney family, Marvel family, and Star Wars family, proving that Favreau’s storytelling has reached so many parts of the Disney universe.

Focusing on Walt Disney’s values, Favreau emphasized how Walt’s message was full of inspiration and learning, “We are all on our journey from mouse to magician.”

Favreau’s 2016 live-action remake of The Jungle Book led to this year’s re-imagining of The Lion King. He has also voiced characters for Disney television shows and feature films, including Hercules (TV, 1999), Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (TV, 2000), G-Force (2009), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV, 2010–13), and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Favreau is currently writing and executive producing the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian for Disney+, which will premiere this November.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow all the D23 News.

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