Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK Casts Newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli; Will Be the Only Actor Onscreen

by     Posted One week ago

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After a worldwide casting search that included thousands of auditions, Disney and director Jon Favreau have cast 10-year-old Neel Sethi as Mowgli in the upcoming The Jungle Book adaptation.  The project has previously been described as a mix between live-action and animation, but today’s casting announcement for Sethi reveals that he will be the only actor seen onscreen in the film; this newcomer will be carrying the entire movie on his shoulders.  Though Sethi has no professional experience, Favreau and his team feel confident that has the charisma and instincts to bring this new iteration of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story to life.

Sethi will be working with a number of CG characters, as Idris Elba is onboard to voice Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson will voice Kaa, Lupita Nyong’o is voicing Rakcha, and Sir Ben Kingsley will voice the character of Bagheera.  The Jungle Book is currently in production and is scheduled for release in 3D on October 9, 2015.

Ben Kingsley Joins THE JUNGLE BOOK; Rooney Mara to Produce and Star in HOUSE IN THE SKY; Elisabeth Moss and James Purefoy Climb HIGH-RISE

by     Posted 27 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Sir Ben Kingsley will voice the character of Bagheera in director Jon Favreau’s live-action/CG adaptation of The Jungle Book.
  • Rooney Mara has been set to produce and star in an adaptation of the harrowing memoir A House in the Sky for Annapurna Pictures.
  • Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and James Purefoy (The Following) have joined Tom Hiddleston in director Ben Wheatley’s thriller High-Rise.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Join Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 90 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau continues to firm up the cast for his live-action/CG hybrid take on The Jungle Book.  We learned last month that Idris Elba will provide the voice of Shere Khan in the Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, and now Heat Vision reports that Scarlett Johansson and Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o are in negotiations to join the pic as well.  Hit the jump for more on the nature of their roles.

Andy Serkis Talks Directing THE JUNGLE BOOK and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Reveals First 20 Minutes Is Just the Apes

by     Posted 116 days ago

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A little while before picking up his CinemaCon Vanguard Award, I landed an exclusive video interview with Andy Serkis.  During the interview, Serkis talked about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and directing The Jungle Book for Warner Bros.  For fans of the Apes franchise, Serkis says the sequel is completely different than the first movie and reveals that the first 20 minutes of the movie focuses on just the apes.  In addition, he’s seen a rough cut and think it’s a very powerful film about identity and tribalism, and 90% of the film is shot on location because of advancement in motion-capture technology.   He also revealed that seeds are planted for a third movie, which already has Matt Reeves set to return as director.

Regarding his directorial debut, The Jungle Book, Serkis praised the dark script and how developing Animal Farm gave him the tools to create the motion-capture animals in The Jungle Book.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Andy Serkis to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Warner Bros. and Disney are developing competing live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book.  When director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) departed the WB project and Idris Elba signed on to voice Shere Khan in the Jon Faverau edition, Disney took the early lead.  But Warner Bros. is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.  After sending out feelers to Ron Howard, WB found their director in Andy Serkis.  Serkis is best known as the godfather of motion-capture acting, the man behind Gollum of Lord of the Rings and Caesar of Rise of the Planet of the ApesThe Jungle Book will be Serkis’ feature directorial debut (depending on the status of his Animal Farm adaptation), but he served as the second unit director for The Hobbit movies—no walk in the park.

In Rudyard Kipling’s short stories, the orphaned boy Mowgli is raised by wolves, befriends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and fights the tiger Shere Khan, so there are plenty of CG/mo-cap characters for Serkis to curate.  More after the jump.

Over 40 Pictures from Mondo’s Disney Gallery Show “Nothing’s Impossible” Featuring Work by Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, and Aaron Horkey

by     Posted 137 days ago

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Mondo’s Disney gallery show Nothing’s Impossible was another hit.  People camped out for days in the freezing weather, and the line reached over 300 people by the time the gallery opened.  Artists such as Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, Aaron Horkey, and Jason Edmiston had killer pieces for this show which tackled hit Disney properties such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.  Check out over 40 photos after the jump.

Idris Elba to Voice Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 138 days ago

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The race of the two Jungle Book films continues.  Disney’s iteration has a leg up on Warner Bros.’ adaptation since it has both a director and a release date, and now it has a star.  Deadline reports that Idris Elba will provide the voice of the villainous tiger Shere Khan in director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book.  Favreau’s film will be a mixture of live-action and CGI, and so it appears that Shere Khan will be brought to life via the latter.  Elba is currently gearing up to go shoot True Detective director Cary Fukunaga’s next film, the child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, but he feels like an excellent fit for the character of Khan.

Disney’s film is slated for release on October 9, 2015, so production will likely get underway this summer.  Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is on the hunt for a director for its live-action The Jungle Book film after Alejandro González Iñárritu dropped outRon Howard was recently mentioned in connection with the project, but further confirmation has yet to materialize.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 142 days ago

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I did not grow up watching Disney animated movies like most kids (ironically, I am now conversant in them almost to the level of a true Disnoid).  Indeed, I only remember having seen three in my young years: Lady and the Tramp, The Black Calderon and The Jungle Book.  My memories of The Jungle Book being particularly thin, it was with great and somewhat nostalgic anticipation that I approached Disney’s new Blu-ray release of the film.  Hit the jump for my The Jungle Book Blu-ray review.

Ron Howard in Talks to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 158 days ago

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It appears that filmmaker Ron Howard may soon be heading back into family friendly territory.  A month after director Alejandro González Iñárritu fell off the project, Heat Vision reports that Howard is currently in talks to take the helm of Warner Bros.’ live-action The Jungle Book adaptation.  The studio is in a bit of a race to get the project off the ground, as Jon Favreau is helming another live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book for Disney with an October 2015 release date already set.  Warner Bros.’ picture is being produced by Steve Kloves, who wrote all but one of the Harry Potter films for the studio, and his daughter Callie Kloves wrote the screenplay for this new Jungle Book film.  Should Howard sign on, he would also produce this new adaptation.  Hit the jump for more on the project and Howard’s very busy slate.

New to Blu-ray: THE JUNGLE BOOK, SHERLOCK Season 3, ENDER’S GAME, and More

by     Posted 161 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include a Diamond Edition of Walt Disney’s last film, the latest season of one of the most engrossing shows currently on television, a Best Picture winner, a current Oscar nominee, and more.  Briefly:

Alejandro González Iñárritu Exits Warner Bros.’ THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 194 days ago

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After reporting that Alejandro González Iñárritu (Biutiful) was in talks with Warner Bros. to helm their adaptation of The Jungle Book only a month ago, it looks like the two have parted ways.  The report cites scheduling differences between the studio and the director, who is currently in post production on his comedy, Birdman.  WB will now look to replace Iñárritu quickly in order to keep pace with Disney, who recently hired Jon Favreau (Iron Man) to helm their own take on the Rudyard Kipling classic.  WB’s script about an orphaned boy raised in the wilderness by animals was penned by Callie Kloves, whose father Steve Kloves (Harry Potter series) is producing. (Via Deadline)

Alejandro González Iñárritu in Talks with Warner Bros. to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK Adaptation

by     Posted 230 days ago

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Director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Biutiful) is in early talks with Warner Bros. to helm the studio’s new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  Scripted by Steve Kloves (Harry Potter series) this live-action adaptation centers on an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle by wild animals.  While it’s a top priority for WB, it’s also a direct competitor for Disney’s own planned take on the public domain property, one that will be directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).  Disney has set that picture to release on October 9, 2015.  Iñárritu is mostly known for his serious dramas – with the exception of his upcoming comedy, Birdman – making him about as different as you can get from Favreau.  Both directors are highly competent, but it will be interesting to see how the varying tones and timbres color the films. (Via Deadline)

Disney Dates ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2 for May 27, 2016 and JUNGLE BOOK for October 9, 2015; Ron Howard’s HEART OF THE SEA Arrives March 13, 2015

by     Posted 242 days ago

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Release dates for a few promising upcoming films have been announced.  Briefly:

  • Disney’s sure-to-be CGI-filled sequel Alice in Wonderland 2 will be released on May 27, 2016.
  • Disney has also set a release date for director Jon Favreau’s new adaptation of The Jungle Book, which joins the box office apocalypse of 2015 on October 9, 2015.
  • The closest release date comes to us by way of director Ron Howard’s real-life drama Heart of the Sea, which has been dated by Warner Bros. for release on March 13, 2015.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned properties.

Jon Favreau in Talks to Helm Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 259 days ago

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New reports have Jon Favreau (Iron Man) in negotiations to helm Disney’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  The 1894 novel is currently in public domain and screenwriter Justin Marks is currently working on a draft.  Disney, who previously adapted the property in the 1967 animated classic and the 1994 Stephen Sommers’ live-action film, is looking to start production as early as next year.  Hit the jump for more, including a comment from Favreau himself. 

Disney Planning Live-Action JUNGLE BOOK Reboot

by     Posted 1 year, 13 days ago

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Disney is heading back into the jungle.  The studio is moving forward with a live-action reboot of the classic Rudyard Kipling story The Jungle Book, which Disney of course previously adapted for the 1967 animated film.  Heat Vision reports that Justin Marks (The Raven) has been hired to pen the script, which focuses on an orphaned boy named Mowgli who is raised by animals in the Indian jungle.  This is actually not the only live-action Jungle Book film in the works, as Warner Bros. is developing a take of its own with Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves writing and directing.  Kipling’s book is in the public domain, so the source material is basically up for grabs.  Hit the jump for more.

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