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Disney Planning Another Live-Action Adaptation of 'The Jungle Book'

by
July 9, 2013
Source: THR

The Jungle Book

Because The Lone Ranger and John Carter haven't taught Disney any lessons about reaching into the past for more classic big screen adaptations, the studio is developing another live-action take on Rudyard Kipling's classic novel The Jungle Book. The film has seen several iterations, most famously the 1967 animated musical, and also the live-action version in 1994 starring Jason Scott Lee as an adult Mowgli along with Cary Elwes, Sam Neill, Lena Headey and John Cleese. Now the collection of short stories, originally published in 1894, are apparently still very popular, thus making them ripe for a film reboot. More below!

Though no producers are attached to the project yet, THR reports Justin Marks is penning the script. That doesn't inspire much confidence with Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li in his past, but the writer has also worked on an early draft of Disney's stagnant 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and a feature adaptation of the short film The Raven, with Mark Wahlberg attached to produce and star. However, Disney might have to contend with Warner Bros. who is also developing their own take on the public domain stories with Harry Potter franchise writer Steve Kloves adapting the book and maybe directing.

For those who may not be aware, most of the stories in The Jungle Book focus on Mowgli, a boy who was raised by wolves. His jungle companions include a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera with the biggest adversary being the deadly tiger called Shere Khan. There have been countless adaptations of this book, so it's surprising to see the property alive and kicking, especially following the box office failure of The Lone Ranger this past weekend. Anyway, we'll see how this shakes out down the road since the project is still in early development. Anyone interested?

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  • son_et_lumiere
    thank god for that. i was thinking only just the other day that this has been a really neglected property. what we need is a new, preferably contemporary version. plus two competing studio / projects? plus a screenwriter of such calibre! pinch me! all we need now are some new versions of similarly neglected dust-gathering properties, like A Christmas Carol, Dracula or Cinderella.
    • DAVIDPD
      LOL.
  • Yeah, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If you MUST resurrect this property, The Jungle Book seems much more suited to TV, IMO... if not a full-fledged series, than a well-produced mini. Embrace the short story format. That way you don't continue to neglect some of the best tales it has to offer (e.g. Rikki Tikki Tavi!).
    • JohnIGottschalk
      Unfortunately TV has mostly been designated for serialised content that tells a continuous story. I haven't seen a good series of stand-alone tales within a series in a while, maybe even since Firefly or Cowboy Bebop.
  • Charlie Hard
    Here we go again...you know how about we just get Johnny Depp and Tim Burton just to get over and done with.
  • Linkfx
    The Jungle Book has at least a recognizable branding as a cartoon and a recent live action adaptation that they did. Disney's always been about reaching into the past.
    • JohnIGottschalk
      I mean heck, they reached right back into those ol' Brother Grimm stories and were retreading ground there to begin with.
      • Linkfx
        sexactly
  • karl
    new project for Nolan and Bale. I can already picture the dark jungle scenes filmed in grey
  • cobrazombie
    What, no Song of the South reboot?

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