Sunday, April 26, 2015

Andy Serkis' "The Jungle Book: Origins" Underway

This version of The Jungle Book (for Warner Bros) will be using Kipling's writing as it's source whereas Disney's will be using their own movie. Apparently this will be completely CG so we should expect something completely different from the upcoming Disney reboot. And yes, production is confirmed as having officially started.

It gets even more confusing trying to keep the films separate in your head when you see the cast - both films of which are impressive and have lots of "Names". (Hm - I probably haven't made it easier using Disney images alongside the characters but hopefully you get the idea - these guys = NOT Disney.)

For this one we have the following line-up:
The film includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Naomie Harris as Nishi, Eddie Marsan as Vihaan, Peter Mullan as Akela, Tom Hollander as Tabaque, Jack Raynor as Mowgli's brother and Rohan Chand as Mowgli. Serkis, (Edit: who is directing) meanwhile, will (also) be the voice behind Baloo. (source)

Disney's is even more star-studded with:
..Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, Lupita Nyong'O as Raksha, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.
Disney's The Jungle Book is due in theaters April 15, 2016 while Serkis' movie is scheduled for release on Oct. 6, 2017.

Perhaps the two movies really will be as radically different as the two Snow White movies were that were released at (pretty much) the same time. With over a year's difference in release time, I guess we'll see how it pans out.


  1. I imagine these movies will both be based just on the Mowgli stories while Kipling's book is an anthology. Which is too bad, because the world could likely use a little more of "The White Seal" and "Rikki-Tiki-Tavi".

    1. John Favreau talked about the Disney live action being an animation/live action mix in an interview and said this: "You have the Kipling stuff, which has a really strong mythic theme, which is great for a big movie like that. I love big themes and a hero’s journey and the whole Joseph Campbell aspect of it, but then you also have this personality of the Walt Disney [animated] film – which, although tonally is different than what we’re doing, there’s a lot of great images and feelings that I remember from being a kid that I’d love to incorporate using today’s technology and storytelling techniques." (from Collider - you can see the interview here - though there's not much more about JB in there: Elsewhere I read that while Favreau is looking at Kipling's whole collection, really it's going to be focusing on Mowgli's story and bringing at least some of what kids and generations love about the Disney classic, to the new film (not the music though - which is weird, because it just won't evoke the same feeling, but anyway..)
      Serkis' "Jungle Book: Origins" is supposed to be "grittier" with live action/motion capture and has the human character of John Lockwood (played by "The Americans" star Matthew Rhys). It's been mentioned they will incorporate more of the source material (ie more of Kipling's Jungle Book) but don't expect Rikki Tikki Tavi or any other 'lesser known' stories to be incorporated unless it's in an homage-type nod - so I'm not really sure what they mean by 'incorporate more source material' in that case.
      It'll be a while before we have a better idea unfortunately.

    2. I'm probably one of very few who cares about something like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, but then I remember seeing this special on Nickelodeon a whole lot when I was a kid: I might have seen it even more often than I saw Disney's Jungle Book. Once again an example of how my tastes and love of stories was influenced by obscure TV cartoons.

      Also, I'd just kind of like to see someone try to make an anthology film again. I love those old Vincent Price horror anthology pictures from the '50s like Twice Told Tales and Tales of Terror.