Yes, we live in a world where there are dueling 'Jungle Book' adaptations and, no, neither project appears to be backing down. For whatever reason, two separate movie studios have decided that Rudyard Kipling's iconic stories about Mowgli and his animal allies and adversaries deserve a reboot, and the latest shot fired in this showdown is the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the villainous tiger Shere Khan in 'Jungle Book: Origins.'
The Jungle Book
While Disney has set their live action version of 'The Jungle Book' to hit theaters in 2015, Warner Bros. has just announced an official title and release date for their own 'Jungle Book' project: Officially titled 'Jungle Book: Origins,' the new live action movie from motion capture master Andy Serkis will hit theaters just a little over a year later.
From being an ape, to leading them, to now directing them ...
Motion-capture master Andy Serkis, who famously portrayed intelligent ape Caesar in the prequel 'Planet of the Apes' movies and became Gollum for Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' trilogies, will step into the director's chair for Warner Bros.' rendition of 'The Jungle Book.'
Idris Elba has been on the verge of superstardom for a while now, and his latest role might get him in the hearts of young children (or at least frighten them). Elba is in final negotiations to join the cast of Jon Favreau's upcoming live-action version of 'The Jungle Book' as the voice of the dangerous tiger Shere Khan.
Not too long ago, Disney put a live-action 'Jungle Book' movie into development with Jon Favreau set to the direct for an October 9, 2015 release. However, because moviegoers were so clearly pining for two live-action 'Jungle Books' (that's sarcasm), another one is coming from Warner Bros., and the film is eyeing 'Rush' helmer Ron Howard for the director's chair.
It seems like 'Iron Man' director Jon Favreau needed to lick his wounds after the fiasco that was 'Cowboys and Aliens,' as that film's failure may have led to a number of his follow-ups falling apart (he was once set to direct both 'Magic Kingdom' and 'Jersey Boys'). But after directing the lower budget 'Chef' it looks like he'll be helming a new franchise as he's up for the new adaptation of 'The Jungle Book.'
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that a new live-action version of 'The Jungle Book' is currently being written for Disney. After all, the company's latest (and so far successful) business plan has been to take previously successful animated properties and transform them into live-action spectacles. It worked for 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Alice In Wonderland,' and it'll probably work for the wrapped 'Maleficent' and the about-to-shoot 'Cinderella.' So, 'The Jungle Book'? Why not?