When dueling Jungle Book projects were set up at Warner Bros. and Disney, it appeared that the race was on to see which adaptation would come to fruition first. WB had a harder time locking down a director (Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and Ron Howard both flirted with the idea before moving on), while Disney’s almost entirely CG-animated film came together quickly with director Jon Favreau. Eventually, Andy Serkis came aboard to make his feature directorial debut with Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book: Origins with the idea of shooting the film entirely with motion-capture, and while he assembled a swell cast that includes Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, it appears that the movie will be hitting theaters a year later than expected as WB has pushed the Jungle Book: Origins release date back to 2017. More after the jump.
Warner Bros. has opted to move the Jungle Book: Origins release date from October 21, 2016 to October 6, 2017, making it the first film to be slated for the month of October in 2017. That puts Origins on track to open a full two years after Disney’s iteration, though I imagine the films will be quite different.
Serkis has been at the forefront of motion-capture technology since his work as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he recently told us that the way they’re creating the animals in Origins hasn’t been done before. The release date delay is probably a combination of the post-production time needed to complete the effects and Serkis’ busy schedule, since he’s due to start shooting the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes follow-up sometime next year.
The actor/director also told us that he’s already been working with his principal cast on the film, so production is indeed underway. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Shere Khan, and in addition to Bale and Blanchett, the performance capture ensemble also includes Naomie Harris and Tom Hollander, with Bad Words star Rohan Chand filling the live-action role of Mowgli.
In other Warner Bros. release date news, the sci-fi adventure Geostorm has been slated for release on October 21, 2016, taking over Jungle Book’s previous date. The film stars Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, and Ed Harris.