With the news of a live-action version of The Jungle Book due to be released in 2014 by Warner Bros., there has been much talk recently of who will direct. It appears that Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (21 Grams, Babel) is currently in talks to take on the role. Although mostly known for his heavy dramas, Inarritu has recently completed his first comedy, Birdman, due for release in 2014.
It has also been reported that the producer will be American screenwriter Steve Kloves, known for his work on the Harry Potter series, and his daughter Callie Kloves is due to make her screenwriting debut with this film.
The Jungle Book is a collection of stories, written by Rudyard Kipling, concerning an orphaned boy brought up by animals in the Indian jungle. Kipling himself had spent many of his early years living in India. As The Jungle Book is out of the public domain, any film studio can make a version.
At the same time as Warner Bros. are producing their version, Disney is also at work on a live-action version. Disney made famous the book in 1967 with their hugely successful animated film. This was the last film that Walt Disney produced himself, as he died during production. The newest Disney version already has a release date of 9th October 2015, and is to be directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man) with the script penned by Justin Marks.
This is not the first time that the same story has been made into separate films and released against each other, as seen with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman in 2012. But with Inarritu and Favreau having very different directing styles, which version will audiences prefer to see?
Warner Bros. The Jungle Book is currently expected to be released in 2015.
Update 19/07/14: Andy Serkis will now direct Warner Bros. The Jungle Book.
Update 01/08/14: The Jungle Book has been given a US release date of 21st October 2016.
Read the article at focusfilm.co.uk