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.
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 Apes. The 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.
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.
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 out. Ron Howard was recently mentioned in connection with the project, but further confirmation has yet to materialize.
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 review.
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.
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:
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)
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)
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.
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 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.
After spending the last decade writing all but one of the feature film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, it’s understandable that screenwriter Steve Kloves took a bit of a breather following the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. The Wonder Boys scribe did an incredible job penning adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s series that were faithful to the spirit of the books, yet different enough that they felt fresh and exciting. Kloves had flirted with the idea of penning an adaptation of The Stand with Harry Potter director David Yates post-Potter, but the two ultimately decided the gig wasn’t for them and subsequently bowed out.
Now comes word that not only is Kloves penning a live-action iteration of The Jungle Book, but he plans to direct the project as well. Hit the jump for more.
Chernin Entertainment is near a deal to acquire an untitled pitch by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless after a bidding war. Deadline neglects to offer a logline, but describes the story as “a futuristic Jungle Book.” I am not sure how literally we’re meant to take the comparison, or even what the evolutionary Mowgli looks like. Maybe he is raised by space wolves?
Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark of Chernin Entertainment will produce alongside Gore Verbinski and John Krauss of Blind Wink. Sazama and Sharpless are also working with Verbinski on the live-action adaptation of the board game Clue. Their first produced credit is still on the horizon, but in recent years Sazama and Sharpless have been tasked with a Missile Command, Flash Gordon, and Dracula Year Zero. In case it’s relevant, I have included a synopsis of Rudyard Kipling’s book after the jump.