While Jon Favreau has an extra six months to wrap up post production on his largely CG animated version of The Jungle Book, motion capture innovator Andy Serkis has just commenced photography on his interpretation of the Rudyard Kipling tale. The film, which marks Serkis’ feature directorial debut, is now simply titled The Jungle Book, having gotten rid of that unfortunate Origins subtitle it was carrying around for a while. Warner Bros. is the studio behind this particular iteration, while Disney is handling the Favreau film.
The film will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Christian Bale Bagheera, Serkis as Baloo, Peter Mullan as Akela, Tom Hollander as Tabaqui, Naomie Harris as Nisha, Eddie Marsan as Vihaan, Jack Reynor as Mowgli’s Brother Wolf and Rohan Chand as Mowgli.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Jungle Book:
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.
I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with getting two versions of this film. It’s a great story for kids and it seems as though the approaches will be radically different.
Here’s the trailer from the 1967 version of The Jungle Book: